Will Smith Reacts to Wife Jada's Oscar Boycott Video—Will He Attend This Year's Ceremony?

Concussion actor responds to spouse's call for diversity in Academy Award nominations

By Samantha Schnurr Jan 21, 2016 3:06 PMTags
Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Oscars Chic, 2014Jason Merritt/Getty Images

After his wife Jada Pinkett Smith confirmed she would not be attending this year's Oscar ceremony, two-time Oscar nominee Will Smith is following her lead. 

While Smith was out of town when his spouse shared a video online drawing attention to the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominations, her initiative made him proud. 

"I was knocked over. I was happy to be married to that woman but I appreciated the push," he told Good Morning America's Robin Roberts Thursday. "There's a position that we hold in this community and, if were not a part of the solution, we're a part of the problem."

Some critics claim the pair's backlash is a result of not receiving an Oscar nod this year, though Smith asserts the video would have existed regardless.

"Had I been nominated and no other people of color were, she would have made the video anyway," he said. 

As one of this year's Golden Globe nominees for his performance in Concussion, the actor has been making the rounds on the 2016 award show circuit. However, like his wife, he has confirmed we won't be seeing his face in the Academy Award audience. 

"No," he said when Roberts asked if he would be attending. "My wife's not going. It would be awkward to show up with Charlize [Theron]. We've discussed it and we're part of this community, but at this current time, we're uncomfortable to stand there and say, 'This is OK.'" 

Smith is careful to note that their stance is not a hidden agenda to garner more attention. 

"This is so deeply not about me," he said. "This is about children that are going to sit down and they're going to watch this show and they're not going to see themselves represented."

Voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are currently a majority male and Caucasian. While the president Cheryl Boone Isaacs is African American and Chris Rock is hosting this year, all the nominees in this year's major categories are Caucasian. The blatant lack of diversity among the voters and the nominees is a representation of America that Smith is not too keen on.  

"The nominations reflect the Academy. The Academy reflects the industry...and then the industry reflects America," he said. "That's not the Hollywood that I want to leave behind, that's not the industry, that's not the America I want to leave behind."

While he acknowledged there are greater issues plaguing the world, Smith reminded viewers of the lasting effects Hollywood has on future generations of all races, ethnicities and genders. 

"We make movies," he told Roberts. "It's not that serious—except that it plants seeds for dreams."