Will Smith Sidesteps Aunt Viv on GMA, Says Oscar Boycott Is 'About Children'

Former Fresh Prince Will Smith wants no part of Aunt Viv’s melodrama. In fact, the actor failed to address her viral takedown at all during an exclusive sit-down with Robin Roberts (who, oddly, neglected to even ask about it).

The two-time Oscar nominee appeared on Good Morning America Thursday in a pre-taped segment to discuss his decision not to attend the Academy Awards in solidarity with wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

“There’s a regressive slide towards separatism… towards racial and religious disharmony,” he said. “This is about children that are going to sit down… not going to see themselves represented.”

Though the Concussion star was not aware of Pinkett Smith’s intent to announce her boycott via a hotly-debated Facebook video, he insists her decision to bow out of Hollywood’s biggest night was not impacted by his failure to secure a nomination.

Watch the interview below, then hit the comments with an answer to this question: Do you think Smith agreed to do the interview on the condition that Qs regarding Aunt Viv were off limits? 


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Carla Krae says:

    We don’t know when the interview was taped. Was it supposed to be live? It could’ve taken place before Aunt Viv’s rant.

    • The interview acknowledges George Clooney’s statement at the 2:30 mark, which was published after Janet Hubert spoke out against the Smiths.

      • Mary says:

        Funny how these celebrities pick and choose what they want to discuss. They didn’t bring it up because in my opinion she had valid points and he had no valid answers. I think all award shows are a waste of time, the real test is at the box office. I know I will be crucify for this but all this to do about nothing. Everything that is going on in the world today who gives a hoot about an award show. I haven’t watch all the films so I cannot say if one person of color is more deserving than the other, but I don’t feel one should be nominated just because of that. Stop all award shows and do the job that you are handsomely paid for and that would solve the problem.

        • Shaw says:

          Despite you using the words person of color I agree man you have made over 250million from being in movies some that wasn’t even good. And your biggest problem is people that don’t acknowledge something you did. Billions of people everyday go to work and don’t get an award or even 1%of your pay.

          • Pat says:

            Award shows are pathetic. Wowee, they got a little naked golden man. That is really something to be proud of. Just a bunch of rich wankers, or rich wannabe wankers, patting the back of other rich wankers.

        • elena says:

          Mary, we can all see you weren’t being malicious, but it’s better to simply say black, or if it’s more comfortable, African American. Although African American really is, or should be, a reference to Africans who have achieved American citizenship. We just want to be black, not colored.

        • c-mo says:

          Well said, Mary.
          And to the rest of you who are clarifying her “person of color” comment, I completely understand where you’re coming from, Smith is a black actor and because he’s narcissistic he’s only talking about other black actors. But if Smith was really concerned and wanted the Oscars to reflect the US population, he would talk about all races and not just one, his. As a Latina, I’m choosing to understand her comment as inclusive to all races and not just one.

        • liame says:

          You don’t think a person of color should be nominated because of their skin color (neither do they. it’s their talent they want you to recognize) but somehow being nominated because your skin is white will always be acceptable!? People really don’t want to open their eyes to what’s really going on here. They’re either surrounded by “good/nice” white people who preach tolerance and forgiveness or they are part of the problem. Will and Jada, I’m with YOU 1000%! if you keep accepting what these people continue to dish out, you will never be ABOVE!.

  2. Doni says:

    Aunt Viv rant does not deserve comment, In my humble opinion.

    • Mary says:

      I thought she had some valid points.

    • Mychelle says:

      I totally agree. Her “RANT” does not warrant nor deserve a comment.

    • Mak says:

      I agree…I”m glad both Jada & Will rose above that drama. Aunt Viv is holding onto a 25 year old grudge….it’s really sad.

    • Delirious says:

      Gotta ask – TVline, is that why the original Hubert piece here isn’t showing in the main page of the site? It jumps from the What to Watch piece (4am PST) to the PaleyFest announcement (7:15am PST), not showing Aunt Viv’s (7:08am PST)… I actually saw it for the first time here, linked as “hotly-debated Facebook video”.

  3. Troy says:

    I can’t stand Will Smith. He pimps out his children and neither one of them can act or sing and now him and his wife are all butt hurt cause he didn’t get nominated for an Oscar. Stop playing.

  4. xomylifexo says:

    He is a child, boycotting an event because they aren’t giving him a trophy. Stop feeding into his crying and he will go away.

  5. Sara says:

    What makes me the most mad about this whole situation is that it will throw cloud over the fact that Leonardo Dicaprio will finally win his Oscar. This is finally his year and instead of talking about the achievements of those who are at career highlights, we are talking about a movie without a single nomination because it was pure and simple mediocre.

  6. Piers says:

    So, take your football and go home, and don’t ever play with us again. Please.

  7. damroberts744 says:

    At the end of the day I don’t think this is about Smith not getting the nomination, nothing I have seen of the Smith’s has made me believe that that type of behavior is normal for them. At the end of the day, regardless of how you feel it happened I think we can all agree that there is an issue with lack of diversity.

    • Pat says:

      Smith is supposedly super hard to work with due to his ego, at least that what was said of Men in Black 3 and all the reshoots and redos of it.

    • Mary says:

      There might be a degree of lack of diversity, however; if the Smiths or Lees don’t show up that will not, IMO, change a thing. Who are the ones voting and how are they selected? Is it possible that maybe the ones nominated were better? I guess I am just getting tired of everything always being about race. Not everyone gets a trophy.

      • damroberts744 says:

        I mean, not to call BS, but it’s not a degree lack of diversity. The nominations completely lack diversity, everyone nominated in the acting categories falls strictly under “white”, which I think is an issue in itself, I’m a white man who can look at this and clearly at least see a lack of diversity, trying to pretend it might not be is laughable. As for who is voting it is largely reported that the academy is largely male and largely white, which I think is where the issue begins. It may not be an issue of racism, but people tend to relate to people who look like them/act like them/think like them, so its not necessarily shocking to me that a group comprised largely of white men found white characters more relatable. I honestly don’t think it’s the largest issue to think about, but I think diversity is something we should embrace in all facets.

      • Eva says:

        Total agree!!

  8. I feel like the only breakout film performance by a blacktor in all of 2015 is Sam Jackson in The Hateful Eight. One snub for sure. The third best performance was British favorite Chiwetel Ejiofor in The Martian, but he was easily outshown by Donald Glover despite being barely in the movie. The problem isn’t that Hollywood is racist, the problem is that there aren’t enough movies starring minorities, especially good ones with fairly universal appeal. It’s a problem that won’t go away for generations. But this boycott nonsense doesn’t care about Asian or native representation. Look up a list of all the Asian actors that won and you’ll only see two people: Yul Brenner and Ben Kingsley.

    • kitsunesaru says:

      I heard Idris Elba was very good in Beasts of No Nation (I think that’s what it’s called..)
      Personally though I don’t really have an opnion. I don’t think I’ve seen any of the big nominated movies or ones that have been snubbed.
      I saw popular movies about dinosaurs and space battles etc…

    • ScottJ says:

      That’s the problem in a nutshell. The roles are not there in the first place. That’s hardly up to the various award bodies to address. The source of the problem is the Hollywood casting system.

      • More than that, it’s kind of a cycle of missing minorities in the creative process. You can probably count the number of current, well-known black filmmakers on one hand. There’s Spike Lee, John Singleton, the British guy who made 12 Years A Slave. Tyler Perry. Black characters are best represented by black writers, who can put authenticity into characters who are black on the page and not just inclusionary stunt casting like Jimmy Olsen. But show biz is largely run by white people who don’t really get things outside of mainstream culture, so the lack of black artists in general doesn’t inspire the next generation of great black filmmakers with works they can relate to. It’s a slow process that’s gradually correcting itself, but it’s tough for anyone to break into the business, moreso for those who would want to sell a product that doesn’t have mass (white) appeal.

    • B says:

      I agree I wish everyone ‘speaking out’ would reference representation of ALL minorities instead of focusing on black actors. I’m sure we all remember the aloha casting controversy and somehow the social network was left unphased when they decided to do brown-face on an actor instead of casting someone of indian decent. You can’t win an award if you aren’t given the roles in the first place.

      • karen says:

        Yes, it would be nice if people who are speaking out were doing it on behalf of all minorities – we have Asians, Hispanic, and any number of other, less known ethnicities in our country, not just black people. The black community is being very vocal, but in not including other minorities in their complaints, they’re being inclusive as well as the whites they’re condemning.

  9. Tim says:

    They should have asked about Aunt Viv—-and Alexis Arquette!

  10. Ohhkay says:

    So Jada is boycotting an awards show she wasn’t even going to be invited to? She’s a TV star now–if anything.

  11. Murica! says:

    Haha!! Sure it wasn’t!! Even if he was nominated, he doesn’t stand a chance against DiCaprio.

  12. TDXI says:

    He’s lost out twice, bith times to other Black actors, so they cannot be that racist.

  13. dan says:

    Is there anything to this? Was there truly deserving minority performances that were overlooked or is this just sour grapes so we pull out the tired old race card?

    • KT says:

      It sure is frustrating. I think the actors and actresses who were nominated are all deserving. It’s not like Adam Sandler was nominated for best actor over Will Smith or Michael B. Jordan. The five best actor nominees are all very impressive in their roles this year. There are actors every year in every skin color who don’t get nominations who were probably quite deserving.

      • Morisot says:

        There have been sour-grapes EVERY YEAR ! (Many of these complaints would surface YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR) Some did finally score — Some didn’t
        Here are a few:
        Only dramas get the nominations
        Only bio-pic actors win
        Comedies/performances in comedies are overlooked
        Animated movies don’t get nominated for best pictures
        Movies that are released early in the year get overlooked
        Science fiction films only get nominated in technical categories
        Oh no, Meryl Streep has a movie coming out — give up now
        When is Clint Eastwood going to get recognized as a director
        When is Cary Grant going to win an Oscar (he never won one)
        When is John Wayne going to win an Oscar
        When is a woman director going to be recognized

  14. Nobody believes his “boycott” has nothing to do with not getting a nomination. Although it is possible that he isn’t going because his wife won’t let him go.

  15. Italia Young says:

    Well he is Will Smith and he spends good money on a publicist. They do not want to give Aunt Viv a pulpit at their expense! They are savvy enough to understand that to acknowledge her would take away from the discussion. I thought BOTH Jada and Ms. Hubert were correct in their assessments and Will showed tremendous growth in his measured answers. I could tell he and his team worked on how this would be handled. He still wants a paycheck. And he admitted that Jada’s response was a little of the fact he wasn’t nominated. I thought he handled himself well. I thought it interesting that it was JADA, Robin, who called for the boycott but it was Will who was interviewed. I thought, that must be frustrating as heck for Jada.

  16. Rick Kehoe says:

    He’s a terrible actor and the wife ain’t any better

  17. Drew says:

    If this were simply about acknowledging actors of different races, people would be upset that specific actors weren’t nominated for specific roles. Instead, people are upset that black actors in general weren’t nominated. If you accept that award shows are relevant (and I do not), you must accept that the best actors should get the nominations. The majority of actors are white. Odds are, there will be years when they get all of the nominations.
    Now, if you believe that the awards are all a sham, they mean nothing, and it is all about politics (as I do), then yes, there should be more black nominees… But at that point, you shouldn’t care about the stupid awards anyway.

  18. He has not has a hit movie since 2006. and that has nothing to do with the white idiots in the academy voting pool. His acting chops are subpar. He is like the black Ryan Reynolds now. Same kind of floppy career and still given chances.

  19. oscar says:

    its very simple Jada told the world she’s racist and she wants her people to be nominated whether they deserve it or not although will was smart about it and tried to put it in deferent words and not sound like a dumb ass like her “smart wife”