Hollywood actor Will Smith recently spoke out on his past relationship with former “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” actress Janet Hubert and defended his decision not to attend this month’s Academy Awards.
When asked about Hubert’s role on the hit 90’s show, Smith applauded what she brought to the table in her portrayal as “Aunt Viv.”
“I think that both of the Aunt Viv’s were really really fantastic. I think when you make a show, any time that you make a change it’s going to be excruciating and painful. I think that Janet Hubert brought a really powerful dignity to the show. I think she’s brilliant. I think as an artist there’s so many things that she does. She sings, she dances, she’s like a really powerful artist. I loved what she brought to the Fresh Prince.” (BBC Radio 1Xtra)
Smith also explained why his decision not to attend the upcoming Oscars ceremony is much bigger than him.
“To me it’s so far not about me. It’s not about us going to a show or not. “For me this is a much bigger social issue. I’m recognizing a pattern of the narrowing of the imagery. The narrowing of tolerance in America. The last 18 months that I’ve been watching the news and experiencing the things that are going on in my country, my concern is that Hollywood is reflecting a regressive trend. Hollywood is supposed to lead. It’s supposed to be the most diverse and the most inclusive. All of the voices of so many different types of people and so many different types of stories. I’m just concerned that I’m seeing Hollywood slipping and making a slide that is a social and political slide that’s happening throughout the country.” (BBC Radio 1Xtra)
Recently, music mogul and director Damon “Dame” Dash spoke out on Will falling back on the Oscars.
“Let’s say Will Smith didn’t have an Oscar or a movie out, would he still boycott?” Dash says. “I don’t have a movie in there. I’ve had movies that I felt should have been nominated, like The Woodsman and Shadowboxer. I felt dubbed. Right now, it’s kind of hard to hear somebody say, ‘Yo, I’m not going to the Oscars ’cause I wasn’t invited’ and expect everyone else not to. What about everyone that’s not invited all the time? So I would rather hear Will say that when he didn’t have a movie out or Jada [Pinkett Smith]. It would seem a little more objective as opposed to personal.” (“Dr. Boyce Watkins”)
Will issued a statement last month about sticking by his wife Jada Pinkett Smith‘s side.
“She’s deeply passionate and when she is moved, she has to go,” he said. “And I heard her words and I was knocked over, I was happy to be married to that woman but I appreciated the push. There’s a position that we hold in this community and if we’re not a part of the solution we’re part of the problem,” he continued. “And it was her call to action for herself and for me and for our family to be a part of the solution. I think that diversity is the American superpower – I think that I have to protect and fight for the ideals that make our country and make our Hollywood community great.” (USA Today)