Will Smith elaborates on the Oscars diversity controversy

Will smith graham norton show youtube finalGraham Norton Show/YouTubeWill Smith on the ‘Graham Norton Show.’

Will Smith has been front-and-center of this year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy following the second consecutive year where only white actors were nominated in the acting categories.

After Smith was snubbed for his performance in the acclaimed film “Concussion,” his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, announced that she would boycott the awards ceremony this year.

Smith followed, along with others like Spike Lee and David Oyelowo.

Smith was a guest on the “Graham Norton Show” last night and elaborated on his thoughts on the controversy.

“The media creates the ‘us and them’ and for me there is no us and them, it’s ‘we,'” Smith said, adding that he is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which votes for the Oscars.

“There’s a regression of America in general of separatism … so for me it’s more about putting my hand up and reminding my community, the Hollywood community, that we have to lead. Diversity is America’s superpower, that is what makes our country great, and in Hollywood we have to be pushing forward even in a time of wider regression.”

Since the controversy around the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations, the Academy board has announced drastic changes to its membership, promising to double the number of female and minority members by 2020. 

Watch Smith’s entire comments here:

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