Will Smith has confirmed that he will boycott this year’s Academy Awards ceremony due to the controversy regarding the lack of diversity among nominees.
He joins his wife and fellow actor Jada Pinkett Smith, as well as director Spike Lee.
Speaking to Good Morning America, Smith said of his and Plinkett’s decision: “We’ve discussed it, and we’re part of this [acting] community but at this current time we’re uncomfortable to stand there and say that this is okay.”
In confirming that he wouldn’t be attending Smith also joked that it “would be awkward if I turned up with Charlize [Theron]”.
Smith was one of the actors thought to have been snubbed when the nominations were announced last week, following his Golden Globe nomination for his performance in NFL drama ‘Concussion’.
Other major snubs for people of colour included Ryan Coogler, director of 'Creed’, his star Michael B Jordan and 'Sicario’s Benecio del Toro.
There have also been reports today that Mark Ruffalo, who was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for his work on 'Spotlight’ may also boycott the show. Documentary film maker Michael Moore has joined the boycott.
Smith has been nominated twice in the Best Actor category (in 2002 for 'Ali’ and 2007 for 'The Pursuit of Happiness’) and lost out on both occasions to a fellow black actor - Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker.
“To me, that was huge,” Smith said of the two former winners. “So when I see this [year’s] list and series of nominations that come out – and everybody is fantastic. That’s the complexity of this issue. But it feels like it’s going in the wrong direction.”
Meanwhile Chris Rock, this year’s host has been called upon to step down by the like of 'Fast and Furious’ star Tyrese Gibson and rapper 50 Cent.
This year’s Oscars will be handed out on 28 February.
Picture Credits: ABC / Colombia Pictures.