Will Smith joined Robin Roberts this morning on GMA, and his message was clear: “The beauty of Hollywood, combined with American ideals is the ultimate dream for humanity.”
During his segment, Will made clear his stand on the Oscars’ glaring diversity problem, his support of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s call to action, and that her video was about so much more than him not earning a nomination for his role in Concussion.
“I think diversity is the American superpower… that’s why we’re great,” Smith said. He continued that he personally has to protect and fight for the ideals that make Hollywood great. “The nominations are not reflecting that beauty,” he asserted.
Although some believe that Jada’s video was sparked by Will being overlooked in Concussion, her husband said the issue is so much bigger than him. What’s more important is that children of color will not see themselves reflected in the nominees on Oscars night. “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,” Will said.
The actor also tied the lack of diversity causing the Oscars backlash to what’s actually happening in our society, and that we have to reverse the schism. “The nominations reflect the Academy. The Academy reflects the industry. The industry reflects America,” he said.”There’s a regressive slide toward separatism, between racial and religious harmony… That’s not the America I want to leave behind.”
Jada’s video calling for action against the Oscars left everyone wondering if Will would even make an appearance at the awards show this year. He asserts that he will not attend. “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.”
But he wasn’t aware Jada was going to post the video that caused a firestorm earlier this week, and said he would have appreciated a head’s up. “She’s deeply passionate and when she is moved, she has to go. I heard her words, and I was knocked over. I was happy to be married to that woman.” And Will believes her passion is more rooted in the bigger issue, and has little to do with him not being nominated. “There’s probably a part of that in there,” he said. “But for Jada, had I been nominated, and no other people were nominated, she would have posted the video.”
Will wants his wife’s words and the actions of the entertainers who’ve spoken out against the Oscars to become a call to action for them to become part of the solution. “This is so deeply not about me.”