Thursday, January 21

Will Smith joins wife in Oscar boycott, calls diversity “America’s Superpower”

Will Smith sat down with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America for a brief chat about the Oscars and his decision to skip the Academy Awards in solidarity with his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
On the larger issue of diversity outside of just the Oscars, he said:
When I look at the nominations, they reflect the Academy. The Academy reflects the industry. And the industry reflects America. It reflects a series of challenges we’re having in our country at the moment. There’s a regressing slide towards separatism, towards racial and religious disharmony. That’s not the Hollywood I want to leave behind. That’s not the industry, that’s not the America I want to leave behind.”
He also said that “diversity is America’s superpower”, which is a refreshing way of looking at what we do best. I thought America’s superpower was continuing to uphold racism in very specific and insidious ways, so I’ll take this instead, thank you.

In other Oscars news, Spike Lee will be at a Knicks game instead of the ceremony and George Clooney has raised his great, silvery head and spoken, saying “If you think back 10 years ago, the Academy was doing a better job…We need to get better at this. We used to be better at it.”

Mark Ruffalo, nominated for his star turn in Spotlight, was “tempted” to join the boycott in solidarity, but said that “I’m in a movie that’s representing a whole other group of disenfranchised people who have no voice in the world and this movie means so much to them….I support them but I have to demur and I have to stand up for the people I have to stand up for.”

The Academy Awards are on February 28th, which gives the Academy and an entire galaxy’s worth of glittering stars to declare their allegiances, start their wokening and sort this out.

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