Will Smith is breaking his silence about #OscarsSoWhite, announcing his intention not to attend the awards ceremony.
“The beauty of Hollywood, combined with American ideals is the ultimate dream for humanity,” Smith said on Good Morning America.
“I think diversity is the American superpower — that’s why we’re great,” Smith said before noting that “the nominations are not reflecting that beauty.”
He went on to say that it was frustrating for minority children not to be able to see themselves reflected in the Academy’s choices.
“I’ve been nominated twice for Academy Awards, but I never lost to a white person. When I see this list and series of nominations – and everyone is fantastic – but it feels like it’s going in the wrong direction,” he continued.
He noted that the diversity problem is tied to the bigger issue in the entertainment industry of a lack of diversity, saying, “The nominations reflect the Academy. The Academy reflects the industry. The industry reflects America. There’s a regressive slide toward separatism, between racial and religious harmony… That’s not the America I want to leave behind.”
Finally, he addressed the fact that his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, has recently called for a boycott of the Oscars and asserted his intention to follow her lead. “If my wife’s not going, it would be awkward for me to show up with Charlize,” he laughed. “At this current time, we’re uncomfortable to stand there and say this is ok.”