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Will Smith was among the first speak out regarding the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations, joining his wife Jada Pinkett Smith in saying he wouldn’t be attending the ceremony.
But now the actor — who was overlooked by the Academy for his role in Concussion —has commended the speed of the Academy’s reaction to the debate and the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
“I was very pleased with how quickly and aggressively the Academy responded,” Smith told the BBC on Friday, noting recent actions including plans by the Academy to overhaul its membership process. “But I want to be very clear about the spirit of what I’m saying. This has nothing to do with me, this has nothing to do with awards — that’s a very frivolous reason for me to put my hand up and make a statement. For me this is much more about the idea of diversity and inclusion.”
Smith added that it wasn’t a matter of “us and them,” acknowledging that he was a member of the Academy himself.
“So it’s much more a domestic family issue than a civil rights issue, it’s a problem that we all have to solve.”
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