When Jada Pinkett Smith shared an impassioned video hinting at an Oscars boycott earlier this week on Facebook, both colleagues and fans alike gladly joined the call for action. As even just a cursory glance at this year's Academy Awards nominees proves, Hollywood's diversity problem would appear to be moving very much in the wrong direction. As prominent Hollywood figures like Spike Lee joined the apparent boycott in protest, some less-than-informed voices started to criticize their intentions.
Will Smith, speaking with ABC News on Thursday, has now spoken out about his wife's video and what exactly needs to be done in order to ensure that the Academy actually pays attention to (and seeks to alleviate) this problem. "My wife’s not going," Smith confirmed before revealing that he too would be skipping the party. "It would be awkward to show up with Charlize [Theron]." All jokes aside, Smith entirely agrees with Jada's stance and is happy to set an example for future generations. "There is a position that we hold in this community, and if we're not part of the solution, we're part of the problem," Smith said. "It was her call to action, for herself, and for me and for our family to be a part of the solution."
For Smith, a two-time Oscar nominee, Hollywood is "at its best" when it accurately represents its own audience. "I think that I have to protect and fight for the ideals that make our country and make our Hollywood community great," Smith added. "When I look at the series of nominations of the Academy, it's not reflecting that beauty." However, Smith is quick to point out the diversity crisis goes well beyond just the Oscars or even the Academy at large: "There is a regressive slide towards separatism, towards racial and religious disharmony and that’s not the Hollywood that I want to leave behind."