Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Will Smith joins Oscars boycott in protest against all-white nominees

Published 21/01/2016

Will Smith has said he will not attend this year's Oscars in protest at the all-white nominations list
Will Smith has said he will not attend this year's Oscars in protest at the all-white nominations list

Hollywood actor Will Smith has vowed to join a growing number of stars in boycotting this year's Oscars.

The Academy has been subject to criticism and calls for a boycott over its all-white line-up of acting nominees.

Smith, who many expected to pick up a lead actor nomination for his role in Concussion, told Good Morning America (GMA) he wants to be part of the solution, not the problem.

He said he is standing firmly by his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, who posted a video on Facebook announcing her Oscars boycott earlier in the week.

The actor told GMA he felt he had to "protect and fight for ideals that make our country and make our Hollywood community great, so when I look at the series of nominations of the Academy, it's not reflecting that beauty".

Smith acknowledged his two Oscar nominations in 2001 and 2006, but said he thought it was interesting that on both occasions he " never lost to a white person".

He said: "When I see this list and series of nominations that come out, everybody is fantastic and t hat's the complexity of this issue, everyone is very beautiful and deserving and it's fantastic, but it feels like it's going in the wrong direction."

Director Steve McQueen and actress Lupita Nyong'o are among the other names who have called for more diversity from the Academy.

Nyong'o won the best supporting a ctress in 2013 for her role in McQueen's 12 Years A Slave, and she wrote on Instagram: " I stand with my peers who are calling for change in expanding the stories that are told and recognition of the people who tell them."

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has responded to the outcry and pledged to make "big changes" to bring about "much- needed diversity".

Smith told GMA host Robin Roberts he felt there was a " regressive slide towards separatism towards racial and religious disharmony and that's not the Hollywood I want to leave behind".

He added: "That's not the industry, that's not the America, I want to leave behind."

Confirming he will not attend the Oscars ceremony, he joked that it "would be awkward for me t o show up with Charlize (Theron)", and added that he and Pinkett Smith would be "uncomfortable to stand there and say this is okay".

Furious 7 actor Tyrese Gibson called for Oscars host Chris Rock to step down. He told People: " The statement that you make is you step down, that's what you do."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph