BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA.com/AP) — Actor Will Smith Thursday said he will not attend the Academy Awards, joining his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and others in protest against two straight years of all-white acting nominees.
The couple’s plan to boycott the awards ceremony comes amid a time of heated discussion over the lack of diversity among actors and directors who received nominations.
During an interview on “Good Morning America,” Smith explained that he and his wife feel “uncomfortable to stand there and say this is OK.”
Many thought Smith might be nominated for his performance in the football drama “Concussion,” but he was not. Smith, however, said his fear lies in the fact that children watching the awards ceremony will not see themselves represented.
The controversy originated following the announcement of nominations last week. The hashtag “OscarsSoWhite,” which was created last year, quickly resurrected online.
Pinkett Smith posted a video message on Facebook saying she wouldn’t attend or watch the Oscars in February. She said it was time for people of color to disregard the Academy Awards.
According to Pinkett Smith, her plea was about black people taking back their power in an industry that doesn’t value people of color.
Spike Lee also publicly announced that he doesn’t plan to attend the Academy Awards ceremony.
While calls for a boycott of the awards ceremony continues to grow, changes may be put into motion for the future of the Academy.
According to the Los Angeles Times, officials could discuss adding new rules to diversify membership and Oscar nominations during a board meeting on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs has responded to the outcry for change by stating, “I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion. This is a difficult but important conversation and it’s time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership.”
The Feb. 28 broadcast will be held at the Dolby Theatre. There ceremony will be hosted by Chris Rock and produced by “Django Unchained” producer Reginald Hudlin and David Hill.
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