Over a glass of chilled white wine, Graham Norton timidly asks Will Smith to offer up the actor’s take on the bubbling controversy enveloping these days leading up to the Oscars. While Smith is articulate, and at certain points vaguely resembles a composed and professional politician, it seems like the majority of his words lack true substance. He answers Norton’s question, but without really answering it. To be sure, Smith’s perceptive bits of wisdom throughout this video like what he sees as a “regression towards separatism and racial and religious exclusion”; and that “diversity is america’s superpower; that’s what makes our country great” are appreciated.
And of course his parting note that, “in Hollywood we’ve gotta be pushing forward even in a time of wider regression; if you lead with love and light, good is only going to come out of it,” is chill; but Smith comes across more like a man running for office who offers up a bunch of lip service instead of getting at the nut of the question asked.
Will Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith has been nothing if not an emboldened tigress amidst all the pre-Oscars proceedings, and even hinted at an Oscars boycott a while back ago. All in all the Oscars are something of a subjective maddening circus act; and arguably fail to reflect the opinions of all the world’s moviegoers. Someone’s always going to be left out. Someone’s always going to disagree; but let us take advantage of all this heat and start working to affect positive, fair, and progressive change upon the Hollywood scene. Listening to Smith and others, it sounds like it’s about damn time.