Will Smith broke his silence on the Oscars race controversy on Thursday, saying on Good Morning America that wife Jada Pinkett Smith would still boycott even if he was the only black actor nominated.
As Gossip Cop reported, Smith was one of the black actors snubbed when the 2016 Academy Awards nominations were announced exactly a week ago, even though he was expected to get nominated for his leading role in Concussion. On Saturday, his wife Pinkett called for a boycott, and on Tuesday posted a video explaining why she believes black stars should no longer stand for being marginalized. Through it all, Smith himself had actually not commented at all… until now.
“It’s interesting — I’ve been nominated twice before, and I’ve never lost to a white person,” Smith noted, referring to wins by Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker. “So for me that was huge. So when I see this list and series of nominations come out — and everybody’s fantastic, that’s the complexity of this issue, everyone is beautiful and deserving and fantastic — but it feels like it’s going the wrong direction.”
Smith, who said he sees a “regressive slide” on racial issues in not just the Academy Awards and Hollywood, but in America as a whole, admitted that he was out of the country and unaware Pinkett was posting her video message, but when he saw it, “I was knocked over. I was happy to be married to that woman.”
“There’s a position we hold in this community, and if we’re not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem. And it was her call to action for herself, for me, our family to be part of the solution,” argued Smith, though he acknowledged that “part of it” probably had to do with Pinkett being upset her husband was snubbed.
He insisted, “Had I been nominated and no other people of color were, she would’ve made the video anyway. We’d still be here having this conversation. 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.”
As for not attending the ceremony next month, Smith said, “We’ve discussed it, and we’re part of this community, but at this current time, we’re uncomfortable to stand there and say that this is okay.”