Will Smith discusses his experiences of racism

Tom Horton, PA
·1-min read

Will Smith has said he has been racially abused on a number of occasions.

The Hollywood star, 52, told the Pod Save America podcast he has never seen a racist person with “intellect”.

“I have been called n***** to my face probably five or six times and, fortunately for my psyche, I have never been called n***** by a smart person,” he said.

Graham Norton Show – London
(Isabel Infantes/PA)

“I grew up with the impression that racists and racism were stupid and they were easy to get around, I just had to be smarter.

“While they were very dangerous, I never looked into the eyes of a racist and saw anything that I perceived as intellect.”

Smith said that when he started working in Hollywood he began to notice “systemic racism”.

He added: “At the core of it, I noticed a difference between ignorance and evil.

Aladdin European Premiere – London
(Ian West/PA)

“They are twins, for sure, but ignorance can be educated and evil is a much more difficult problem, and certainly ignorance is more prevalent than blatant evil.”

Smith also said he had been encouraged by the Black Lives Matter protests, adding: “Over the summer, the entire globe sat up in a way that they never have before and agreed that black lives matter.”

He added: “Black lives aren’t going to go back to not mattering.”

The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air star said he is “hopeful” about the future of the US and progress is being made on equality.