HOLLYWOOD – As the award season picks up, one favorite contender for the best actor Oscar, Will Smith, has told the Studio Exec why he won’t be picked up the best actor statuette, or attending the ceremony during which he would win it.
My name is Will Smith. You might know me from such films as Bad Boys, Bad Boys II or perhaps The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I was also in Wild Wild West, but no one really remembers that and in our house we just call it ‘the time dad was always angry’. As the Oscars approach I think it’s important that I make a statement concerning my decision not to attend the ceremony and not to accept the award for Best Actor, which I was going to win for my amazing role in the football drama Concussion. You see over the years I’ve seen the number of films made by and starring black artists increase. The diversity on our screens is staggering and yet the Academy every year seems to pass over these talents in a way that you don’t want to attribute to prejudice but for which no other explanation is readily available. My wife Jada Pinkett Smith has been an actress for as long as I have but her work in The Nutty Professor, Matrix Revolutions and Madagascar 3 has not received even one nomination. Not one. As in zero. This can only be because of racism.
I have a unique position in the black community as one of the few actors, along with Denzel Washington, who has the genuine ability to open a big budget film. I’ve been offered nominations all the time but I’ve always turned them down because I feel that to accept the nomination and then the Oscar while my brothers and sisters are not even getting nominated would make me into the worst kind of hypocrite. I won’t do it. It doesn’t make me happy. I wish I could say, well, okay I’ll take it. I worked hard, I deserve it. I got my speech written down and everything. All the folks I want to thank. We even timed it so the orchestra doesn’t start playing the music to Independence Day while I’m still speaking.
But there is a bigger issue at stake. It’s bad enough the levels of massive inequality, the poverty, the way the prison population likewise bespeaks a society that far from being over racism seems to be becoming more entrenched behind positions of prejudice: it’s bad enough young black kids are getting shot in the streets by the police, but the stinger, the real thing that is gonna get everyone fuming mad is if some very rich people don’t get more recognition from another bunch of very rich people in a televised ceremony and everyone talks about the clothes they’re wearing. Of such injustices revolutions are made.
So this is why I respectfully ask that the Motion Picture Academy of Cinematic Arts do not reward me the Best Actor Oscar for Concussion. But instead give it to someone else. Leonardo deserves it. But anyone else. Not Eddie Redmayne though. I mean Jesus, not him. Christ that film was dull.