Will Smith is finally sharing his views on the 2016 Oscars boycott imposed by his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and other actors of color. Pinkett Smith came under fire from former "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star Janet Hubert after posting a video on Facebook in which she announced that she and her husband would not be attending. Will, 47, is standing by his wife's decision, suggesting in a recent interview that the boycott is necessary.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 21, 2016
As was reported by People magazine, the "Concussion" star, who was not nominated for an Academy Award this year, sat down with ABC News for an exclusive interview on the issue Thursday morning. He told "Good Morning America" he and his wife were "uncomfortable" attending the awards ceremony as they felt that would be a sign that they condone the snubbing of people of color. Will added that he was glad Pinkett Smith, 44, went ahead and posted a video calling fans and fellow actors to action. He went on to say that the boycott has nothing to do with the fact that neither he nor Jada were nominated and everything to do with the fact that there will be kids tuning in around the world who are "not gonna be represented." Will was adamant that the issue was "so deeply not about" himself.
"There's a position we hold in this community and if we're not part of the solution, we're part of the problem," he said.
The Smith's aren't the only people who won't be attending the Academy Awards — though not everyone is calling it a boycott. Controversial director Spike Lee has been very vocal about his decision to skip the Oscars this year. As was reported on Wednesday, however, the "Chi-Raq" director is distancing himself from the word "boycott." He claims he only ever said that he and his wife are "not coming. That's it." Lee announced on Monday that he and Tonya Lee would be absent via Instagram. He began the post by using the hashtag "#OscarsSoWhite," which rose to popularity after the nominees for the 2015 Oscars were announced and again this year. Lee questioned how it was possible, given the amount of noteworthy films released in both years starring predominately black casts, that only white actors and actresses had been nominated. Accompanying the announcement was a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. along with a famous quote of his in which he called for people to "take a position," whether it be the popular opinion or not.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 20, 2016
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - His senior photo from Morehouse College (Class of 1948) Good… https://t.co/84KjTXBBYh
— Spike Lee (@SpikeLee) January 19, 2016
— Spike Lee (@SpikeLee) January 18, 2016
Actor Tyrese Gibson has also opted out of the show due to the lack of diversity. He called for Oscars host Chris Rock to stand with the black community and pull out of the gig. Gibson even went as far as to suggest that if actors in the LGBT community were being snubbed by the Academy, Rock would have distanced himself by now. He suggested that there was "no joke that he can crack," or comment he could make during the 88th annual Oscars that could make up for him not relinquishing his hosting duties.
"The statement that you make is you step down, that's what you do," Gibson said.
While countless celebrities continue to call for stars and viewers alike to avoid watching or attending the Oscars, TV analysts predict that a boycott won't affect the awards show — at least in the ratings department. According to TV analyst Naeemah Clark the show will still likely draw close to 1 billion viewers. Still, Clark says those taking a stand against the Academy's lack of diversity shouldn't shy away from their positions due to these stats, questioning why American society still needs to be reminded that certain populations "are not being represented."