Will Smith: 'Diversity is America's super-power'
The actor defended his boycott of the Oscars on Good Morning Britain
Will Smith has defended his decision to boycott this year's Oscars. Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett have joined director Spike Lee in avoiding this year's ceremony in protest at the awards' lack of diversity.
Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain, he denied that he had chosen to do so because he failed to win a nomination for his role as a doctor in the NFL drama Concussion, and said that he felt the lack of diversity on the big screen was "criminal".
"I believe diversity is America's super-power," he said. "I believe that's what makes our country great and special.
"The images that come out of Hollywood are supposed to be painting the pictures of a rainbow future, painting the pictures of a diverse and inclusive future, so if the images coming out of Hollywood narrow, it's almost criminal, it's like we're narrowing the collective American imagination."
Smith was one of the first people to raise his voice in the controversy over the all-white selection of nominees in the acting categories at this year's Academy Awards. The Academy has responded with a promise to increase the diversity of its membership, which is overwhelmingly white, male and elderly.
It seems it will be too little, too late for this year's ceremony, though. #OscarsSoWhite seems set to run and run.