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Will Smith Discusses The Oscars And Jada Pinkett Smith’s Video

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have been in headlines (and under attack) after announcing they would not be attending the Oscars due to the lack of diversity.

While many championed the Smiths for taking a stance, others criticized them and accused them of only speaking out because they’re salty Will wasn’t nominated. Why didn’t they speak out last year when all of the nominees were white?

Will spoke candidly to “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts about issues surrounding diversity in Hollywood and explained why they are speaking out about it.

I’ve been nominated twice for Academy Awards and I’ve never lost to a white person.

The first time I lost to Denzel and the second time, I lost to Forrest Whitaker.

For me that was huge. So, when I see this list and series of nominations that came out – everybody is fantastic and that’s the complexity of this issue. Everyone is beautiful and deserving and it’s fantastic, but it feels like it’s going in the wrong direction.

When I look at it, the nominations reflect the Academy. The Academy reflects the industry…reflects Hollywood. The industry reflects America …a series of challenges that we are having in our country at the moment.

There is a regressive slide towards separatism towards racial and religious disharmony and that’s not the Hollywood that I want to leave behind. That’s the not the industry…that’s not the America that I want to leave behind.

Will revealed he had no idea that Jada had made the video announcing they would not be attending the Oscars because he was out of the country.

I came home like, ‘What happened?’

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.

But, I appreciated the push. There is a position that we hold in this community and if we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem.

It was her call-to-action for herself and for me and our family to be part of the solution.

When asked if all of this is because he wasn’t nominated, Will responded:

There’s probably a part of that in there but, for Jada….had I been nominated and no other people of color were, she would have made the video anyway. We would still be here having the conversation.

This is so deeply not about me!

This is about children that are going to sit down and they are going to watch this show and they are not going to see themselves represented.

When asked if he would be attending the Oscars the blockbuster star responded, “No. My wife’s not going. It would be awkward to show up with Charlize [Theron] … we’ve discussed it. … We’re part of this community. But at this current time, we’re uncomfortable to stand there and say this is OK.”

Watch the clip on page 2.