Will Smith thinks the Oscars’ lack of diversity is a reflection on a “social regression” in the U.S.
The Hollywood actor has decided to follow in his wife Jada Pinkett Smith‘s footsteps by boycotting this year’s ceremony, and he insists there is a social decay in the country that has seeped through to the Academy Awards.
He said: “We have to understand the spirit of what’s happening. This is not about us and them, it’s about we. I’m a member of the Academy, so this is a problem that we all have to solve collectively.
“The only reason it’s an issue this year is because it feels like a regression. So to me Hollywood is experiencing a regression that is reflective of a social regression America is experiencing.
“There’s something happening in our country that’s being reflected in Hollywood, that’s being reflected in the Academy. I, for one, want to be a part of making adjustment. I want to be a part of the solution.”
Following the Concussion star’s decision to boycott the ceremony, some claimed it was because he hadn’t been nominated for an award, but he insists that he is definitely not the case.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, he added: “It has nothing to do with me being nominated or not, or wanting to win awards or not. That is so frivolous. I’ve been nominated for Academy Awards and I’ve never lost to a white person. I lost to Denzel [Washington] and then I lost to Forest Whitaker.”
Jada previously announced she was boycotting this year’s ceremony after the nominations were announced and didn’t include any black actors.
Several other stars, such as Spike Lee, have vowed to follow in her footsteps.
But Whoopi Goldberg is to present an accolade at the ceremony and recently insisted it is the movies which have a lack of diversity rather than the Academy.
She said: “The issue is not the Academy. Even if you fill the Academy with black and Latino and Asian members, if there’s no one on the screen to vote for, you’re not going to get the outcome that you want. I won once. So it can’t be that racist. You wanna boycott something? Don’t go see the movies that don’t have your representation. That’s the boycott you want.”