Will Smith Confirms He’ll Skip 2016 Oscars Beside Wife Jada Pinkett Smith
On today's (January 21) Good Morning America episode, Will Smith confirmed he will not attend this year's Oscars alongside wife Jada Pinkett Smith, who announced earlier this week that she would not attend. The actors have each explained they take issue with the fact that — for the second year in a row — each of the ceremony's 20 acting nominations have gone exclusively to white actors, and in GMA clip above, Smith says #OscarsSoWhite reflects a wider societal issue that's specific to current day. Only a few years ago, he noted, Hollywood seemed more progressive than it does now.
"It feels like it's going the wrong direction," Smith said, who noted that he lost to a pair of black actors the two times he's been nominated for an Oscar. "The nominations reflect the Academy. The Academy reflects the industry, Hollywood. The industry reflects America; it reflects a series of challenges that we're having in our country at the moment. There's a regressive slide toward separatism."
Smith said he had no idea his wife had plans to post her video-protest — which has now been viewed more than 11 million times — but said he "appreciated [her] push." He also noted that her passion was not centered on the fact that Will was not nominated for his role in Concussion, but that it spoke to something much deeper. "We've discussed it and we're a part of this community but at this current time, we're uncomfortable to stand there and say that this is O.K."
Actor Mark Ruffalo, who is up for a Supporting Actor nomination for Spotlight, told BBC News that he's considering skipping the Oscars ceremony in solidarity.
"I’m weighing it. That’s where I’m at right now,” Ruffalo said. “I woke up in the morning thinking, what is the right way to do this? Because if you look at Martin Luther King’s legacy, what he was saying was, the good people who don’t act are much worse than the people, the wrongdoers that are purposely not acting and don’t know the right way.”
Watch the actor's full remarks below.
Check out a collection of celebrities who went to high school together: