Will Smith spoke out for the first time about why he and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, are boycotting against the 2016 Oscars after the awards show nominated only white performers in the acting categories.
Many felt Smith's lead role as Dr. Bennet Omalu in Concussion was overlooked by the Academy, but the 47-year-old actor told Good Morning America's Robin Roberts that the snub has nothing to do with the boycott. "Had I been nominated and no other people of color were, [Jada] would have made the video anyway. We would still be having this conversation," he said, referring to the Facebook video his wife made asking her fellow actors to avoid the awards ceremony. "This is so deeply not about me. This is about the children that are going to sit down and watch this show and they aren't going to see themselves represented."
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Smith does feel that all of this year's nominees are "deserving and fantastic" but says "it feels like it's going in the wrong direction."
"There is a regressive slide towards separatism," he explained. "That's not the industry or the America I want to leave behind."
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When asked if he agrees with George Clooney's statements that minorities were better represented at the Oscars in years prior, Smith is quick to clarify that the two times he was nominated, he "never lost to a white person." In 2002, Smith was nominated for Ali and lost out to Denzel Washington in Training Day. Then in 2007, the actor lost to Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland. Smith was nominated for his role in The Pursuit of Happyness.
"Diversity is the American superpower," Smith declared. "I think that I have to protect and fight for the ideals that make our country, and make our Hollywood community, great. So when I look at the series of nominations for the Academy, it's not reflecting that beauty."
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He added, "If we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem."
While Smith's wife has been criticized by his former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star, Janet Hubert, for her stance on diversity in Hollywood, the actor couldn't be more proud. He does, however, admit that he didn't know the Magic Mike XXL actress was making that video.
"I heard her words and I was knocked over," he said. "I'm happy to be married to that woman and I appreciate the push."
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Pinkett Smith recently responded to Hubert, who claimed that the couple was only boycotting the Oscars because Smith wasn't nominated. "This whole Oscar controversy isn't really about the Oscars," she said in a video obtained by ET. "Really, in my plea to ask all communities and people of color to take back our power is so that we can use it in all sectors of our community, and right now, specifically with African-American people, we have some very serious issues that I think we as a people have to move together on. I'm hoping we can find ways to step together in this instead of finding ways to fight each other. I got love for everybody."
Here's more from Smith's wife: