Will Smith has confirmed he’ll be joining his wife Jada Pinkett Smith in not attending the Oscars next month.
The Independence Day star said it would be “awkward” to attend thanks to the controversy due to the lack of diversity among this years nominees.
“We’re uncomfortable to stand there and say that this is OK,” he told Good Morning America.
He also went on to say that diversity was “the American super-power” and that, “at its best, Hollywood creates the imagery for that beauty”.
Yet when he looked at this years lineup it simply was “not reflecting that beauty.”
“Everybody is beautiful and deserving and fantastic, but it feels like it’s going the wrong direction,” he continued. “There’s a regressive slide towards separatism, towards racial and religious disharmony and that’s not the Hollywood I want to leave behind.”
Many people in the industry had expected Smith, a two-time Oscar nominee already, to be shortlisted again for Concussion, in which he tackles the role of a doctor investigating head injuries sustained by American football players.
These comments will no doubt add more fuel to an issue that is threatening to overshadow this year’s awards, which will be held in Los Angeles on 28 February.