Lorelai: Hi daddy. Okay, I know this is bad. And I know this probably brings back all the horrible aspects of my childhood life for you. And see, I’m really sorry that we fought last week, and I’m really sorry that you’re so disappointed in me, and I really wish there was something I can do to fix that, but there probably isn’t and I can accept that because I am an adult now and I am proud of who I have become. But I am begging you, please, please do not make me go back down there because that guy is boring.
Will Smith is among the Hollywood stars disappointed by the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations, where for the second year in a row zero nonwhite actors were nominated for the Academy’s acting awards.
The Concussion star sat down with ABC News’ Robin Roberts for an interview that aired on Thursday’s Good Morning America and told her that he thinks this year’s nominees don’t reflect the beauty and greatness of America’s diversity.
“The beauty of Hollywood combined with American ideals is the ultimate dream for humanity: the basis of the American concept of anything is possible, with hard work and dedication, no matter your race or religion, creed, none of that matters in America,” said Smith. “I think that diversity is the American superpower. That’s why we are great. So many different people from so many different places adding their ideas and their inspiration and their influences to this beautiful American gumbo and for me, at its best, Hollywood represents and then creates the imagery for that beauty. But for my part, I think I have to fight for and protect the ideals that make our country and make our Hollywood community great. So when I look at the series of nominations of the Academy, it’s not reflecting that beauty.”
Smith didn’t receive the nomination many people believed he deserved for his Concussion role as Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered a disease caused by repeated head trauma experienced by professional football players and took on the NFL in his quest to have the truth be known. And while Smith emphatically insisted that all of this year’s nominated actors are “fantastic … and deserving,” he’s disturbed by the larger trend he sees reflected in the abundance of white nominees.
“I’ve been nominated twice for Academy Awards and I’ve never lost to a white person. The first time I lost to Denzel [Washington], and the second time I lost to Forest Whitaker,” Smith pointed out. “When I see this list and series of nominations that come out, and everybody is fantastic and that’s the complexity of this issue — everyone is beautiful and deserving and it’s fantastic — but it feels like it’s going the wrong direction. When I look at it, the nominations reflect the Academy, the Academy reflects the industry, reflects Hollywood. And then the industry reflects America, it reflects a series of challenges we’re having in our country at the moment. There’s a regressive slide towards separatism, towards racial and religious disharmony, and that’s not the Hollywood that I want to leave behind. That’s not the industry, that’s not the America that I want to leave behind.”
“I was out of the country at the time, and I came home and I went, 'What happened?,’” Smith told Roberts, who added that he told his wife he would have appreciated a little heads-up on her post. “She’s deeply passionate and when she is moved, she has to go. And I heard her words and I was knocked over. I was happy to be married to that woman. But I appreciated the push. There’s a position that we hold in this community and if we’re not a part of the solution, we’re a part of the problem. It was her call to action for herself, for me and for our family, to be a part of the solution.”
In the second part of his interview with Roberts, Smith revealed that he talked with Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs earlier this week and indicated that he believes the makeup of the Academy is problematic from a diversity standpoint.
“At this point, the Academy is 94 percent Caucasian and 77 percent male,” he said. “It’s just difficult to get a diverse cultural sampling from that group. It’s a systematic bias that needs to be addressed across the whole industry.”
Smith also conceded that there are more serious issues in the world than the problems faced by Hollywood actors.
“We make movies. It’s not that serious, except that it plants seeds for dreams,” Smith told Roberts. “Historically, Hollywood has led. We have to get out in front. There’s a disharmony that is brewing in our country and in our industry that — I want no part to that. This is a marriage … but the marriage is in a space where divorce is not an option. We’re all in this together. We gotta figure it out and we gotta make it right.”
He added that he would tell those on social media voicing their concerns to keep discussing this problem.
“Part of the beauty of this country is the ability to disagree,” said Smith. “Part of what makes us great is historically the best answer tends to win. I say let’s keep debating. Let’s do our best to keep it in love and keep it in light. I want to leave an industry in better shape than I found it.”
16/366: Was supposed to wake up at 10 to get breakfast with Crystal and Caffy but we woke up late bc of who we are as ppl HAHA AIR SIGN GIFT EXCHANGE TODAAAY 💕 Twas so happy their stuff came on time like agh was so worried it wouldn’t 😭 Ugh I was hella spoiled - thank you Caffy for the Dr. Martens & American Apparel disco pants and thank you Crystal for the Adidas Superstars, crew neck, and Casio watch (LIKE IM DYING STILL IT’S SO AGHDKSOKXKSKXK) I just love my friends and how we do this shit for each other like hella squad goals LOL. I hope they liked the gifts I got them too - I got Caffy an amethyst heart ring (February baby), Nike Roshes, Tartelette in Bloom palette, and a Daniel Wellington watch (but that’s for her bday) and Crystal suede wedge booties, a Coastal Scents brush set, Lancôme Tresor, & a dream catcher belly piercing ~ Then we all headed to Sweet Elle’s for lunch and frozen hot chocolate 😍 Caffy let us ride in her new Beamer like oh mah GAH so beautis 😍 Crystal & I went food shopping or should I say beverage shopping at Stater Bros. after and then Crystal Kim picked us up and we went to West Mall to waste more money yay… I found a black pencil skirt so that’s chill and 2 tank tops which was not too much but ugh I annoy myself with how much I buy. It’s to replace something in my heart huh, just filling up holes where feelings should be. Played pool at 2k with squad after and omg I suck HAHAH pool is hard bc I can’t angle the trajectory of my stick to the ball to the hole… Oh whale LOL Crystal was Bae and drove me home so I could get my shower stuff since my shower isn’t working 😭 I should marry her I already live with her basically JAHA. Watched TV (we never watch tv) at her house then she fell asleep and I had to go home so I turned off the lights and tv for her and locked her doors LOL I felt like I was sneaking out or something… Got home and was getting myself situated when Ortega and Dax just come back from a bar/club all fucked up and needed to crash so I opened up my house LOL. Recover, my children 😂