NEW YORK: Will Smith says he will not attend the Academy Awards next month, joining his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and others in protest against two straight years of all-white acting nominees.
Smith said Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he and Pinkett Smith have discussed it and feels “we’re uncomfortable to stand there and say this is OK.”
Some thought Smith might be nominated for his performance in the football drama “Concussion,” but he was not. Smith would likely have been a sought-after presenter at the Feb. 28 ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
He had been nominated twice before, for 2001’s “Ali” and 2006’s “The Pursuit of Happyness.”
Pinkett Smith on Monday said she wouldn’t attend or watch the Oscars ceremony. A video she posted helped prompt calls for a boycott of the awards show.
In another video posted Wednesday by “Entertainment Tonight” she says, “This whole Oscar controversy isn’t really about the Oscars.”
Pinkett Smith says her plea was about black people taking back their power in an industry that doesn’t value people of color.
Pinkett Smith on Tuesday thanked the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and its president for promptly responding to the outcry. Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs has pledged “dramatic changes” to diversify the academy’s membership.