Is Will Smith Going to the Oscars? Actor Makes Decision on 2016 Oscars Boycott

Will Smith has confirmed he will skip the 2016 Oscars, shortly after his wife Jada Pinkett Smith called for a boycott of the awards show following the internet's dialogue on #OscarsSoWhite. The movie star told Good Morning America's Robin Roberts it would be "uncomfortable to stand there and say that this is OK," after the awards show failed to nominate a single black actor, according to the BBC.

Smith told Roberts diversity is the "American superpower" and "Hollywood creates the imagery for that beauty." When it comes to the Oscars, however, Smith said the awards show is simply "not reflecting that beauty." 

"Everybody is beautiful and deserving and fantastic, but it feels like it's going the wrong direction," Smith said Thursday morning, the BBC reported. "There's a regressive slide towards separatism, towards racial and religious disharmony, and that's not the Hollywood I want to leave behind."

Will Smith is joining his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, in abstaining from the 2016 Oscars.
Source: 
John Salangsang/AP

After Pinkett Smith's call to action for fellow actors and actresses to decline their invitations to the 2016 Oscars, a number of notable figures have bowed out or said they're considering bowing out of the Feb. 28 awards show, taking place in the heart of Los Angeles. Tyrese Gibson, Dustin Hoffman and Mark Ruffalo have all spoken out against the Academy's failure to produce a single nomination for an actor or actress of color, the BBC reported Thursday. 

"This is so deeply not about me," Smith told Roberts. "This is about children who are going to sit down to watch this show and they are not going to see themselves represented."

 "This is about children who are going to sit down to watch this show and they are not going to see themselves represented."


"At the Oscars," Pinkett Smith tweeted, "people of color are always welcomed to give out awards — even entertain. But we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of color refrain from participating all together? People can only treat us in the way in which we allow."

Smith joins a growing list of actors refusing to attend the awards show this year, as well as some who are still considering declining their invitations despite being nominated for awards.

Correction: Jan. 21, 2016
A previous version of this story stated a quote from Jada Pinkett Smith appeared in a video posted to Facebook. The quote came from a series of tweets from her Twitter account.

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Chris Riotta

Chris Riotta is a culture reporter at Mic, covering news, music and entertainment. He is based in New York and can be reached at criotta@mic.com

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