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Will Smith Confirms He Won't Attend Oscars; Mark Ruffalo “Weighing” Appearance

Will Smith says he will not be attending this year’s Oscars over the diversity issue and nominee Mark Ruffalo is “weighing” whether or not to attend.

Smith says he was out of the country when his wife Jada Pinkett Smith announced she would not attend and he supports her in that decision. “I heard her words and was happy to be married to that woman,” he told ABC’s Good Morning America this morning. “If we’re not part of the solution then we’re part of the problem.” He added that it’s not about him or any person in particular, “It’s about children sitting down and seeing this show and not seeing themselves represented.”

Mark Ruffalo, nominated in a supporting actor role for Spotlight, also told BBC News he’s considering not attending. “I woke up in the morning thinking, ‘what is the right way to do this?’ Because if you look at Martin Luther King’s legacy, what he was saying was that the good people who don’t act are much worse than the wrongdoers who are purposefully not acting and don’t know the right way.”

This all follows Spike Lee’s announcement Monday that he would not be attending the “lily-white Oscars” and criticism by other entertainment industry figures such as Will Packer and Quincy Jones. Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs issued a statement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day promising changes within the group.

Here is Smith’s interview on GMA:

  1. I think all of this is happening because of the blatant way Creed, Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan were snubbed, while Stallone was nominated. Something is very wrong with the way Oscar nominations are awarded, and it needs to be fixed. The funny thing is, the Globes did the exact same thing, so clearly, this is organized in some way. It’s pathetic.

    Stallone really did not warrant a nomination at all for this movie.

    1. Stallone is essentially getting a lifetime achievement nomination / award.

      And anyone who has seen the previous 6 Rocky movies knows this is the same story over and over again.

      1. Sly was genuinely good in it, but at the same time yeah this is his Paul Newman Color of Money gold watch retirement award.

      2. And don’t forget the Mary Poppins win for Julie Andrews, which shows something about all this, but what exactly, is beyond me. 50 years later, I still can’t get over the Mary Poppins role winning it. Good luck in working things out, folks.

    2. Disagree that Stallone didn’t warrant a nomination. He gave a fine performance. Certainly as worthy as any of the other nominees in the category. However, I do feel that Jordan or Coogler could be recognized or the film itself.

      -M

    3. Stallone DID warrant a nomination and it’s not because of Creed snub. It’s because of the weigh the nominations are weighted. And — some academy members either didn’t see the “black” movies, or they weren’t sent screeners to see them.

      1. “And — some academy members either didn’t see the “black” movies, or they weren’t sent screeners to see them.”

        Citation Needed.

        And not seeing 12 Years a Slave didn’t prevent Academy voters from voting for it.

    4. Stallone absolutely deserved a nomination. Jordan absolutely did not. Coogler could have gone either way.

      1. Jordan and Coogler didn’t? Really? Stallone sleptwalked his way through this movie. Some of you people are absolutely disgusting.

        1. Stallone did not sleepwalk. He gave a really terrific performance. I doubted it prior to seeing it but he did.

          However, I would also hav agknowledged BOTH Jordan and Coogler.

          -M

        2. Doesn’t all of this show that there are disagreements on performances everywhere? Even the most ardent of moviegoers can’t see eye-to-eye on many performances. So clearly it’s just a matter of opinion.

    5. Snub, snub, snub. Snubs happen every year to tons of actors/actresses/filmmakers who are well deserving regardless of color. This isn’t a color issue. This is a film issue. These past two years have been shitty in terms of film quality. The last good year of film (2012) saw 12 Years a Slave win Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay, with many other nominations.

    6. Ridley Scott was also snubbed. Should white people boycott? Or Brits? Boycotting the oscars because you feel Creed or Straight Outta Compton should have been nominated is childish and petty, NOT something MLK Jr. would have done.

    7. Sorry. I didn’t realize you were the same guy as below. Anyway… whether or not Stallone deserved a nomination doesn’t matter. There are performances EVERY YEAR where people say that so-and-so didn’t deserve it. As Jman noted, they’re basically giving him a lifetime achievement award, just like they did with Martin Scorsese. Plus, there are multiple snubs of every race EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.

      The Oscar nominations are made by just over 6000 people. They switch out every year to a very small degree, so it is fair to say that the same 6000 people who voted for 12 Years a Slave and Chiwetel Ejiofor also decided not to vote for any “person of color” this year. So what do you think happened? That all of those voters suddenly became racists? Or maybe they just didn’t think that the roles were worthy. After all, they had far fewer to choose from.

      So what is the solution? Do we make a quota? Isn’t that like a pity vote? Next year, will we see an overabundance of black actors being nominated to make up for it? Is that the right thing to do? And why is it only a black/white thing? None of these actors are saying anything about a lack of Latinos or Asians. Sure, they say “diversity,” but most of them also say “people of color.” And we know what they mean by that.

      My guess is that they’ll push the numbers of actors and actresses nominated to ten starting next year, just so everyone will have a better chance at being nominated.

  2. Why are children even watching an awards show that honors movies largely made for adults? Of course at this point children are boycotting the awards so I suppose the point is moot. These awards have never been based on merit. Why should they suddenly be taken seriously? #OscarBoycottSoPointless

    1. These rich losers can afford to make their own awards show.
      For the LOSERS.
      The second chance loser awards.
      It’s always the same rich black people complaining but doing nothing.
      Will Jada and spike.
      Make an Oscar worthy movie. You can afford to make it if you don’t want to make the sacrifice it takes to make an award winning film stop making bad vibes for the talent that has.
      Please stop.

  3. Leave it to actors to equate the legacies of Martin Luther King Jr and the Voting Rights Act of 1964, with something as pathetic as the Academy Awards.

    Where oh where was the industry outrage when Brokeback Mountain lost to Crash, and you had actual Academy members say on the record that they refused to watch the former film because of its gay content?

  4. What nominee should not be nominated solely so a black actor would be??

    So disrespectful to the people who were nominated that this is the conversation… Smith did not deserve a nomination over any of the 5 ppl nominated. He was good in Concussion, but the movoe was uneven and that cost him a nomination. The sense of entitlement coming from this Oscar season is ridiculous.

    Straight Outta Compton should have gotten a Best Picture nomination, okay, but it didnt, neither did Carol.

    So, all of the acting nominees, tell me who should not be there and what black actor or actress should be there?

    1. The exact way you feel about Concussion is the way a lot of others feel about a number of nominated films. I won’t say which one exactly I’m surprised by the nomination, but will restate something I find it odd people are ignoring: its not just about whether you deserve it or not, you have to run a SUPER-CAMPAIGN ahead of the nominations. You just have to. Preferential voting makes it essential.

    2. I’d judge Michael B Jordan to be more deserving than just about anyone on the list, since you ask.

      1. Yeah. Concussion just wasn’t very good. It was fine, but not an Oscar movie. Michael B Jordan was good… and Creed was a better movie. People and movies get snubbed every year, so the easy quick fix would be to expand the acting/directing nominations to 6.

    3. Matt Damon. While a good actor and I’m sure a nice guy, his performance was solid but not “special”. Check Good Will Hunting for an example of his best. There were MANY performances in this year’s qualifying movies that deserve nominations, and Will Smith’s was CERTAINLY among the best. Sorry you are mixing the quality of the movie with the quality of the performance.

      ALL THAT BEING SAID, even as a (younger) member of the Academy I can honestly say it is a caucasian, older boys club and until that shifts to a more broader membership you will probably not see any differences in the voting patterns.

      1. This is your personal opinion: you say that, someone else says differently – this isn’t a matter of black or white as some racists are making it by whining. Every year some people are selected and others don’t – white actors have been snubbed in favor of black actors but nobody said anything then. I think that racism has changed face: it’s against whites. Because when all these actors say that they were snubbed due to their race they mean that they white colleagues who got nominated didn’t worth it because they happen to be white…
        So with all this nonsense from now on when a black actor gets nominated we’ll know that it was forced due to his/her race. The funny thing is that two years ago when “12 years a slave” was largely nominated Academy was OK and in two years the same Academy became racist…

        1. Yeah OK great 12 Years A Slave got nominated and of course a few black actors/actresses received recognition from it because white people can’t play slaves. Their ancestors never experienced being degraded in such a manner. But that isn’t the point. This whole award show would be more fair if people of COLOR (Black, Latino, Asian, Indian, etc) can get better roles than ones where THEY’RE THE ONLY OPTION to play. Slaves, historical figures, etc. The award shows will never change if we don’t fix the root of the problem. This idea that people of color won’t sell overseas, can’t carry a movie is LAME. And that’s why people are upset that movies like Creed and Straight Out of Compton were not recognized because they were received so well! Yes someone is going to get snubbed, but people are made because there is only 1 brown M&M in a bag full of white ones….what is the likelihood that brown will get picked over the whites….?? I’ll wait.

    4. Straight Outta Compton was an absolutely terrible movie. If you’ve ever spent time in the hood, you’d know that movie should have been considered fiction in every way. Don’t embarrass yourself again bringing this movie and the Oscar Awards up.

  5. why doesn’t Ruffalo reject the nomination then? why doesn’t he ask to be replaced by a black actor? I think this seems to be a logical solution, right? I mean, no one seems to be willing to address how to “fix” this year’s problem of no black acting nominees…non-attendance is more of a reaction to the nominations and not actually doing something about it…just reject it Ruffalo and tell us which black actor is more worthier than you for a nomination

  6. Please…..his performance was not Oscar worthy. That accent was awful. The only nomination he deserved was for a Razzie. He should have manned up from the beginning and come out and said he wasn’t going to attend instead of doing the cowardly thing and have his wife do it.

  7. This is ridiculous. Can someone point out all the egregious omissions the Academy has made. Hey, Ridley Scott is Best Director 2016 (I know this is debatable) but he’s not even in the running for HIS Oscar. Who is the exact subject of the outrage. I can’t think of anyone besides Idris Elba and Beasts of No Nation. But how can you make a big deal about that when: Cate Blanchett was authoritatively snubbed for TRUTH; Dicaprio got nothing for Django or The Departed; Kathryn Bigelow missed her shot with ZDT…amongst a gazillion other misses in categories no one even talks about. I can’t believe people are still going on about this. It’s like the Oscars are happening for the first time ever.

  8. This is getting a little bit ridiculous. I’m Middle Eastern & I won’t see myself represented at the Oscars but that won’t have me skipping the Oscars or even worse, crying and whining about it.

    1. In the past 20 years, 10 black performers have won Academy Awards (Cuba Gooding, Jr.; Denzel Washington; Halle Berry; Forest Whitaker; Morgan Freeman; Jamie Foxx; Jennifer Hudson; Mo’Nique; Octavia Spencer; Lupita Nyong’o).

      In the same period, only 3 Hispanic performers have won (Benicio Del Toro; Penélope Cruz; Javier Bardem).

      0 Asian performers have won.

      0 Middle Eastern performers have won.

      0 Native American performers have won.

      0 openly gay/lesbian actors have won.

      Yes, it’s disappointing that Hollywood favors movies about white characters (who are usually men), but before we start attacking The Academy, let’s have some perspective. I think these other groups have more to bitch about.

      1. Yes, they do, but they never, ever bitch. Every other racial or sexual minority waits for African-Americans to do the unpopular heavy lifting when it comes to speaking out about discrimination, and then follows suit when it’s safer to. When blacks get the conversation started about this kind of exclusion EVERY OTHER GROUP win, so there.

  9. The only person who should be upset is Idris Elba for not being nominated. Will Smith was not and has not been a great actor. He is a movie star but not a great actor. I never heard Denzel, Jamie Foxx, or Halle Berry complain about an Oscar. They powered through and did better work. The key to success is to do better work. Its sad to see people actually complaining about movies like Creed and Straight Outta Compton. Those are not Oscar caliber movies with great acting. The unfortunate part about this is next year movies and actors will get nominated when they shouldn’t be.

    1. Straight Outta Compton and Creed are as Oscar caliber as Mad Max and they are certainly as well reviewed as many of the Best Picture nominations.

      -M

      1. Yes, but that’s actually a statement about how overrated Mad Max. It absolutely did not deserve a nomination.

    2. Irrespective of the Awards’ season hullabaloo and opportunism for personal agendas, I recommend Idris Elba’s speech in the (UK) Parliament – Deadline posted it yesterday. I absolutely agree with him that the issue re lack of diversity starts at the executive/creative level because those groups are perceived, inaccurately, as commercial risks. If someday hadn’t vouched for Idris, or whoever rocks your boat, we would never have had Luther and future performances in store. Let’s focus on making good films with the best acting talent we can tap into.

  10. Any celebrity or other public figure who claims there was a nomination failure based on race has a responsibility to state publicly who should have been removed to make room. Have the balls to say it (Matt Damon) and have the balls to say who should be nominated in that spot. Don’t just bitch about it

  11. If he was sincere, he would have protested well in advance of the nominations process and removed his name from consideration.

  12. This is ridiculous. Has there ever been an actor that has benefited from Hollywood more than Smith? His wife and child have ridden on his coattails as well. When Smith had an opportunity to do something out of the mainstream, he turned it down and did his version of Atticus Finch. Smith has had a fabulous career playing roles written for white characters, I AM LEGEND for example. Spike Lee has been given every opportunity to make his films and they haven’t reached his black audience, or any audience. Tarantino has done a better job than Spike bringing vivid, compelling, and pertinent black characters to the screen. TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE was a poorly done film that was honored by the Academy because of the power of its message. Spike and Smith should just shut up and do better films.

    1. Exactly what everyone in the world is thinking about this
      non issue.
      It’s just a vulgar and low class way to represent.

      1. Lol. ^^This^^. I was thinking the same thing – but, if Mark wants to sit this one out, I’m fine with that and his decision. Ruffalo may get another chance down the line, so it may make sense for him to stay low and not attend. It’s not like everyone at the show will be running around asking, ‘Where’s Mark, where’s Mark? We have no show without Mark.” That’s just not gonna happen. lol

        The best way Hollywood can make this right with what nominees they do have – give the Oscar to Charlotte Rampling. She’s an outstanding actress, a part of ‘old Hollywood’, did a fine job in her movie and it would be a message that there is life after 40 in Hollywood for women. I’ll be pulling for her victory. I’m sure many others will be as well – she’s the dark horse underdog now to win.

  13. This is all dumb.
    The problem is not the Oscars, it’s the industry. The Oscars can’t nominate what doesn’t get made.
    So boycott the studio films.
    Or care less about the Oscars and shift focus to other awards.

  14. There’s a reason Smith wasn’t nominated: he didn’t deserve to be. His performance was merely okay and “Concussion” was less so. Sorry, Will, but you’ll just have to take solace in the millions you got to star in the film.

  15. Wait…Will Smith wasn’t nominated…so was he even invited to attend?
    If that’s the case, then I’m not attending either!

    1. No he wasn’t. Neither was Jada Pinkett or Snoop Dogg. Spike Lee is the only one who was invited who publically stated he wasn’t going.

  16. Correct me if I’m wrong, if there’s only 5 acting slots available, isn’t a part of securing a nominations is 1/3 studio promotion, 1/3 actual performance and 1/3 handshaking/making the rounds/doing the Hollywood hustle? Did I. Edba get any Netflix push? Was he making the circuit? Did Will Smith make the rounds hustling for a nod for his Christmas dud? Was a major studio advocating for M.B.Jordan/Ryan Coogler for Creed?

  17. All that needs to be said is the totally awful Mad Max got a best pic nomination and neither concussion or Compton did. Talk about white privilege. Lol!

    1. Um, did you see Mad Max Fury Road? Don’t bother answering as its a rhetorical question.

      It is one of the best reviewed film of the year.

  18. What about Asian?People just keep on talking bout black but what about the Asians.They just only won it once in acting category and nobody is talking about it!

    1. Dragon Seed, Teahouse of August Moon, the generally blase attitude about Japanese internment, persistent Yellow Peril mindset carried over to present day China’s growing influence, and everyday put-downs of “rice dicks”, ensure Asians as comfortably invisible, model minorities we can take or leave onscreen. (Unless they’re hot like Lucy Liu.)

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