In a show of solidarity with his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith announced today that he will not attend this year’s Academy Awards. Speaking to “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts, Smith discussed how and why he made his decision.
“We’re part of this community but at this current time, we’re uncomfortable to stand there and say that this is OK,” he said. “There is a position that we hold in this community, and if we’re not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem. It was her call to action, for herself, and for me and for our family to be a part of the solution.”
Addressing the question of whether this has anything to do specifically with his not being nominated for his lead role in Concussion, Smith responded with a resounding “no.”
“There’s probably a part of that in there but, for Jada, had I been nominated and no other people of color were, she would have made the video anyway,” Smith said. “This is so deeply not about me … This is about children that are going to sit down and they’re going to watch this show and they’re not going to see themselves represented.”
Smith joins his wife, who announced her boycott on Friday via Facebook, and Spike Lee, who announced his boycott on Monday via Instagram, in choosing not to attend the awards ceremony. Meanwhile, artists like 50 Cent and Tyrese Gibson are calling for Chris Rock, who is scheduled to host the show, to step down.
In his GMA interview, Smith noted that the Academy is “94 percent Caucasian and 77 percent male … It’s just difficult to get a diverse cultural sampling from that group.”