Will Smith has joined his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, in speaking out against the lack of diversity within the Academy. On Thursday morning the 47-year-old actor — who has been nominated for two Oscar’s in the past — told Good Morning America,
I think diversity is the American superpower. That’s why we’re great. So many different people from so many different places adding their ideas, their inspiration and influences to this beautiful American gumbo. For me, at it’s best, Hollywood represents and then creates the imagery for that beauty. But for my part, I think I have to protect and fight for the ideals that make our country and the Hollywood community great. So when I look at the series of nominations from the Academy, it’s not reflecting that beauty.
The nominations reflect the Academy, the Academy reflects the industry – reflects Hollywood. The industry reflects America. It reflects a series of challenges we’re having in our country at the moment. There’s a regressive slide towards racial and religious disharmony. That’s not the Hollywood I want to leave behind. […] That’s not the America I want to leave behind.
On his previous nominations, he states:
To me, that was huge. So when I see this list and series of nominations that come out – and everybody is fantastic. That’s the complexity of this issue. […] But it feels like it’s going in the wrong direction.
See his full interview below.