Will Smith on Hollywood diversity: ‘I really don’t think it’s much of a problem’


Will Smith

Here are some photos of Will Smith and Margot Robbie premiering Focus at an Italian film festival. Margot’s wearing a Marni resort outfit. I worry about this movie bombing and negatively affecting her career. Will has built up enough of a box-office record that he’ll be able to skirt the blame for at least a few more duds. Look at Johnny Depp continuing to skate around with his merry band of quirky characters. Will’s never had a Pirates of the Caribbean level of success, but he’s still beloved by Hollywood. Margot’s a fresh face, and she’s a woman, which means she’ll shoulder the blame when people want to go watch 50 Shades again instead of a predictable looking heist film.

Will’s gone off the deep end lately in the parenting department, and I question his connection to reality. He’s a very insulated, protected person. Will doesn’t believe racism even exists in Hollywood anymore. The thought never crosses his Xenu-tweaked mind:

On a lack of diversity in Hollywood: “I didn’t even think about that really, I can’t say I feel negatively about it. I don’t really think that it’s too much of a problem. Really, my brain doesn’t even work like that.”

The Selma Oscar controversy: “In terms of what’s snubbed and what’s not snubbed, people vote for the movies that they want to vote for and they have that right.”

[From Ok! Magazine]

Someone must have disregarded the Denzel Washington discussion of the Sony hack. I can’t tell if Will is delusional enough to believe what he’s saying, or if he’s simply afraid to walk into a serious discussion. Nothing is serious when it comes to Will’s persona. He walks around on red carpets, pulling faces and pointing, and everything is wonderful in life. Marriage and parenting? Also never a problem.

There’s a story in this week’s issue of OK! Magazine that says Will and Jada told their kids they can’t hang with the Jenner girls anymore. This source is suspect, but it’s also the same magazine Will talked to about non-existent racism. So there could be something there. We’ve heard buzzings about how Jada thinks Kendall is a brat. It’s still hard to believe Will and Jada would lift a finger to throw down a rule for their kids.

Will Smith

Margot’s dress in this photo is Valentino.

Will Smith

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN

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86 Responses to “Will Smith on Hollywood diversity: ‘I really don’t think it’s much of a problem’”

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  1. mimif says:

    Willful suspension of disbelief, anyone?

    Also, I think I love Robbie’s black dress.

    • Kiddo says:

      DX: KCS (Kaley Cuoco Syndrome)

    • Bridget says:

      Willful indeed.

      But why is anyone surprised? His entire image is calculated to be as inoffensive as possible. It’s why he raps happy, it’s why his movies all fit a very specific niche (sci fi, uplifting dramas, comedies) – he utterly and flatly declined to do Django Unchained, for goodness sake-, it’s why he won’t openly acknowledge being down with Xenu. There is nothing genuine about the Will Smith we see.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes, he seems robotic, pre-programmed to be an innocuous as possible. Between this and the last post on him, he’s really become off putting to me.

    • annaloo. says:

      Well, he was able to parlay a career of a couple of hit songs to transition into a hit tv series and then straight to blockbuster films– I don’t think Will Smith has had to suffer for anything. He’s had a very successful caree, which is hard to do in Hollywood period, regardless of skin color.

      He reminds me of kaley cuoco’s comments regarding feminism. Maybe he’s never been burned by racism or diversity issues BC he’s always known success.

      • Tristan says:

        You got that absolutely right. He has never had to struggle to get work & has worked consistently from a young age. It is the same situation with Meryl Streep who isn’t in a position to speak badly of the career path of females in Hollywood, when she has always won the best roles, year after year

  2. Kiddo says:

    Birthing hips, mimif!

  3. Bichon says:

    He doesn’t think it’s a problem because he lives on planet Borg.

    • Sarah says:

      I think it is because it isn’t a problem for HIM. Easy to be above it all when you are Will Smith. God help me though….I have never been able to shake my “like” of Will Smith. I dislike so much about his life – his kids and his lack of parenting, maybe – but he has such a likable persona that I still want him to be successful. Ugh….Off to take a shower!

      • Kim1 says:

        That’s true.I was just watching my local news when a lady said it’s not difficult to eat healthy just buy fresh fruit and vegetables …
        She is assuming everyone has access to grocery stores with affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. Will and his “time doesn’t exist” kids live in another world.
        I doubt Jada has banned them from hanging around Jenner girls.Kylie is probably too busy “hanging out” with Tyga, her BFF

      • Kitten says:

        +1 Sarah.

        He’s an idiot, but an extremely charismatic idiot. I hate him for that.

      • Kiddo says:

        I don’t know if he’s an idiot, his entire persona is non-confrontational and nice/fun guy.

      • Ginger says:

        Yep, just because it doesn’t affect him doesn’t mean it ISN’T a problem. I do agree that he isn’t going to rock the boat or alter his image in any way. And I actually love both Will and Jada as actors. However, their parenting style irks me. They should at the very least be sending their children to a proper school.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Yup. Will has been rich, successful and insulated for years so he’s seriously out of touch.

  4. Nayru says:

    “I don’t think poverty is a problem” says the multi- millionaire. Similar situation.

  5. SpookySpooks says:

    This is the same as Meryl not seeing problems with roles for women. They are the few exceptions and they don’t see problems of others.

    Also, Margot can’t dress, can she?

  6. taterho says:

    When was the last time he had to audition for a part? Has he ever had to? Come on Will.

    • V4Real says:

      Notice that comments like Will’s and Anthony Mackie are coming from Black actors who are steadily working. I don’t think they actually believe what they’re saying. I think they don’t want to go against the grain and risk losing future jobs.

      On a positive note at least Will has lost that bloated look in the face. He wasn’t looking his best for awhile. Now he’s looking like the old Will again.

  7. JWQ says:

    “I have never experienced the problem, so of f***ing course it doesn’ t exist!” is basically the point.

    This is like Kaley Cuoco not being a feminist because she’ s never witnessed sexism (something I am dying to see the second she turns 35 and her lack of talent will be on par with her not being as young, fresh and hot anymore) and Meryl Streep backing Russel Crowe up about ageism in Hollywood regarding women, because since she gets all the roles, it means that other women are just bitching about a nonexisting problem.

    Will Smith proudly joins this club for morons! I don’ t care about Cuoco and Streep, but I grew up watching Will Smith and thinking that he was the coolest thing ever, and the fact that he has become what he has become (or shown what he has always been) is heartbreaking!

    • Vampi says:

      @JWQ
      ^^^^
      THIS!!!!!!

    • lucy2 says:

      Agree completely. It’s easy to say there are no problems if you live in your own problem-free bubble.
      I can see them saying it’s not a problem for THEM, but then acknowledge that others haven’t been so fortunate.

  8. kim says:

    He’s talking about himself.
    Of course it wouldn’t matter to him.

  9. aims says:

    If the Smiths said their kids couldn’t hang out with the Jenner girls because they’re brats, that’s a start in the the parenting department.

    • sally says:

      I know the parents receive a lot of slack for thier parenting decisions but overall the kids seem fine. neither has gotten into any trouble, been a part of any huge scandal, no drugs , no kids. So whatever Will and Jada are doing, seems to work.

      • GingerCrunch says:

        They’re still pretty young. Let’s just wait patiently.

      • Bridget says:

        You’re saying that the measuring stick for successfully parenting a 14 year old and a 17 year old is that they haven’t been arrested or to rehab? That’s setting the bar low. How about the fact that neither of these children are in school? Or that they have no discernable skills or talents aside from the career paths that their parents are providing for them?

      • Artemis says:

        They are being homeschooled though.

        Also, the Smiths are not dumb. Both Will and Jada are intelligent people who worked hard so except for the Scientology part, I don’t judge them when it comes to education. Jada is very involved in activism and she’s written essays and spoke publicly about heavy topics. Will was a great student but he just didn’t want to go to college.

        I would say Willow is pretty talented as a singer and Jaden also has the performing genes. There are thousands of educated young people working in retail, I wouldn’t worry about 2 rich kids to be honest ;)

      • Bridget says:

        “Homeschool” where they get to choose thwir own curriculums. We have heard these two children speak, they are lacking in very basic knowledge. Jada may be passionate on the subject but that doesn’t make her particularly knowledgeable – that school they set up ended up being a disaster, after all. And these two will have the careers their parents give them, which seems odd to me considering that Will Smith was entirely self-made. I’m not particularly worried about either of the Smith kids’ well-being, but to hold these two up as successful parents because their children have yet to have a major scandal is a pretty low threshold.

      • Artemis says:

        Many people lack basic knowledge despite ‘normal’ education and a degree. People on here who are educated make spelling and grammar errors so I’m not going to judge any child. Like, I can’t do maths, I have a difficulty but people would probably assume I’m just dumb based on that alone…

        I’m not going to judge. They seem to have other interests and I have yet to see any troubling behaviour that other famous teenagers do exhibit. They’re annoying at best. They’re not even papped that often so it’s not like they need to be famous. Pretty sure it was Willow who said she didn’t want to do ‘Annie’ because she wanted to be a kid. Sounds pretty grounded to me. They both seem to just be making music and releasing some stuff without marketing themselves as performers.

        Well, she testified before Congress to promote awareness against human trafficking and from other topics she discussed (written and spoken), she seems pretty knowledgeable and works actively to gain more knowledge e.g. contacting Angelina Jolie for more info on human trafficking.

        I’m not saying they’re successful parents (as I do not know them intimately), I’m saying these people are not stupid and there is no proof that they’re bad parents either.

      • Danskins says:

        Agree @ Artrmis – back in his teens, Will was offered a full scholarship to MIT but turned it down (I wonder why that’s so rarely talked about in his interviews) to pursue rap full-time. He parlayed his music career into being a successful Hollywood actor, so I can’t hate him for that although I’m still side-eyeing his comments about (the apparent lack of) racism in Hollywood.

        Jada holds her own as a talented musician (she used to front a progressive alt-metal band called Wicked Wisdom and wrote some pretty dope lyrics), writer and social activist, in addition to acting. She’s no dummy either.

        I sort of try to give them the benefit of the doubt on their parenting skills because as another poster already mentioned, the kids are being homeschooled and not being continuously pimped out unlike the Kartrashians.

  10. the blonde one says:

    so he has the ‘black’ version of ‘are you a feminist’ ignorant answer?

  11. Livealot says:

    It sounds like a mechanism to not allow racism to personally affect oneself. “Deny it exists” type of thing so your attention is focused on all your efforts rather than any obstacles or factors one can’t control.

    I was the same way until the racism towards me was SO blatant.

  12. Loopy says:

    The film looks incredibly outdated and I lost respect for the Smiths ages ago, what a bunch of loonies.

  13. bammer says:

    He’s a smug out of touch jackball. I hope his movie bombs.

  14. scout says:

    He didn’t have much problem when he came into the industry, he rode high for quite a while, so he can talk now about lack of diversity. When it comes to parenting, FAIL….

    Love Margot.

  15. UltraViolet says:

    I dunno. I think he’s entitled to his point of view, based on his own experience. The people who disagree with him are also entitled to their own point of view, based on their own experience. Not really into the ‘there’s only one right way to think and if you disagree you’re just ignorant’ meme.

    I will say that Will, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt have all managed to get some pretty hefty plastic surgery without having to put up with the criticism Hollywood women have received for precisely the same thing. These guys are in their late 40s/early 50s – do y’all think they naturally look like that? Yet no one calls them out.

    • Kim1 says:

      I don’t believe Will has had any surgery based on looking at pics of his parents and siblings.What surgery do you think he has had? I just saw a pic of Brad at the Cinematographer Awards he looks 51 to me.Tom does look younger than he did five years ago.

      • Bridget says:

        Tom has spent the past 5-10 years having significant work done, but it is excellent. It’s only getting more noticeable because he’s trying to look decades younger now.

      • mia girl says:

        Yeah, Cruise kind of has this “mask” look to his face now. It’s well done (trips to Brazil, right), but it’s just as obvious to me as Kidman at this point.

        I also agree that Brad Pitt does something, maybe not surgery but some types of peels or fillers. Sometimes his face doesnt seemed settled, and then he will look “fresh” again. Just my opinion.

      • Kim1 says:

        BTW I forgot to mention I don’t consider botox as plastic surgery.

    • Artemis says:

      Men have been called out but most of them know better and keep it subtle. Most women go too far and then they end up with frozen faces! The men still manage to look human which is so important when your profession is to emote.

      Also women like Sharon Stone, Robin Wright and countless others have been called out too but in a positive sense as they are older women who look like they also had work done but not with the intention to erase age. They didn’t succumb to the pressure and embraced their age which makes them even more beautiful.

  16. Q says:

    Not had PotC level of succes????? OF COURSE HE HAS! I’d go as far as saying that internationally he’s even more famous than Johnny!

    • SpookySpooks says:

      I’d say they’re both on the same level. Will is Brad Pitt-level famous, alt least in my country.

    • Diana B says:

      What Q said. In my country Will is more recognized than Johnny and I think it’s because he appeals to both men and women whereas Jhonny appeals only to nostalgic women who still remember when he was hot.

    • FingerBinger says:

      @Q Exactly. The Men in Black movies were huge.

    • spaniard says:

      Will Smith is a HUGE star internationally. In my country he has a wider fanbase than JD for sure. Of course the success of “The Fresh Prince” is the reason why he is so famous worldwide more than a movie franchise. Also I think he is one of the best professionals in Hollywood when it comes to promotion: Always acts super nice with the press and fans, gives funny interviews…in Spain we are always looking forward for him to come and promote anything, his appearances in “El Hormiguero” are amazing.

      I think is sad that lately The Smith family has become attached to something so shady like Scientology. My whole family have always been a fan and I’m sure if he ends up like Cruise it will break my mom’s heart (not kidding she loves him to bits)

  17. EC says:

    Kanye West said a similar thing in the Style.com profile. When asked about the lack of black designers in the fashion industry, he said something to the tune of “focusing on race is a distraction, we are all the same race.” And I think it is troubling for the few black men who are in positions of power in the entertainment industry to shy away from talking about the lack of diversity. It’s visible, and even if it doesn’t impact Kanye West’s career or Will Smith’s career, it is a problem. I actually think it took race relations to reach a boiling point over the summer for the president to make some big statements on race. Why isn’t something people are more willing to talk about?

    • Kitten says:

      Yeah, I feel like black actors can’t win on this topic.

      I wonder at what point it starts to become unfair for someone like Smith to be expected to be a spokesperson, when maybe by his experience he HAS felt like he had an equal amount of opportunities. He was just answering the question honestly, from his perspective.

      So just because he’s a black guy, does he have an obligation to speak out against the systemic racism in Hollywood?
      As a white chick I’m not qualified to answer that, but ultimately I’m not sure he should get crucified for talking about his personal experience.

      • EC says:

        I totally agree that they cant win. I think, for the most part, these people have their careers and they are really happy with them – as they should be. They don’t want every conversation to be about race, and they want to be able to speak about their work and have routine conversations (that most white actors have) without always addressing racial issues. It must be exhausting to keep getting the same questions, as the few prominent black actors probably do get. But to just shut questions down and not engage in conversations, is that the right thing to do? I don’t know, it’s a tough spot to be in.

      • lucy2 says:

        I agree it’s a tough position to be in and no one should be forced to be a spokesperson like that. But I think in this case it’s important for him to clarify that while he personally hasn’t had it be a problem (not sure I believe that, but whatever) it still is an issue in the industry as a whole. To simply deny the problem exists at all is not good for anyone.

  18. chaine says:

    His persona seems so forced and fake nowadays, and there’s some kind of anger just below the surface. I think he’s completely lost touch with how a normal person behaves and, judging from the trailer for the movie, lost touch with what audiences want to see. There was no chemistry between him and Margot in the trailer, and he’s like twice her age, and his age is finally showing, so there was an ick factor with that, as well.

  19. mkyarwood says:

    And Charles Barkley doesn’t thing slavery was ‘that bad’.

  20. Catelina says:

    This sounds like a case of not biting the hand that feeds you. He doesn’t personally have trouble finding work, so he’s keeping his head down and keeping execs happy with him. Sort of like when women say they dont care much about feminism because they don’t struggle with issues of gender inequality in their own lives, ignoring the women around the world that do.

  21. Beth says:

    Unpopular opinion for which I might get flamed for: I think people like Smith and Streep like being the top of their bracket–black actors for Smith and actresses over 50 for Streep–that they are apathetic towards the lack of success of everyone else they would normally have to compete with for roles. I don’t believe for a second that they don’t realize the problem is there; they have just greatly benefitted from it and I think they want to keep it that way.

    • Kitten says:

      Yeah that crossed my mind too.
      As selfish as it may seem, this could be a strategic and smart move on their part. Maybe they’re just trying to avoid politics and not burn any bridges.

      • Beth says:

        Yeah, I mean I want to give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe they don’t want to rock any boats by speaking up on the matter; however, another part of me thinks the worst of them and that they suffer from Barbara Walters syndrome: being the only one at the top of their game and gloating at the idea that they virtually have no competition.

  22. kri says:

    ?!?!?!?!?!??!!!!

  23. Ginger says:

    He could have just as easily said “It’s never been an issue for me personally.” Or, “I’ve never seen it first hand.” Instead of just blowing it off like it doesn’t exist when it so clearly does with proof.

  24. me says:

    Of course he’d like to be one of the only popular African American male actors so that he can keep getting all the roles lol. So to him, there is no diversity problem.

  25. sistaknoxy says:

    I don’t think he realizes he’s only the exception. He likes to pretend he’s so enlightened and operates in a mental sphere beyond race. I don’t believe the man thinks about race for this reason. Everything is perfect in his world. Please. He is more hard core Xenu than people think. He needs to come back down to earth and get a good whiff of reality.

  26. sistaknoxy says:

    Also, weren’t there pics from a year ago of Margo and Will making out in a photo booth during this movie’s wrap-up party. Will was supposedly drunk. The crew were gossiping about it.

  27. CK says:

    I think we are going just going to have to start a VIP section for celebrities that generally need to take a seat. Let’s see, A List/Legends: Meryl Streep, Phylicia Rashad, Will Smith, Russell Crowe, Annie Lennox. Vince Vaughn (is he still relevant) B List: Kalie Cuoco. C List: Amy Pascal, Evangeline Lily, I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few,but 2015 is officially the year where our nostalgia and warm celebrity memories are going to get killed.

  28. Meg says:

    Will and jada get roles so what does he care? I think that’s where will is at at this point in his life/career

  29. Sparkly says:

    My husband calls him Upsidedown-Ears, and that’s all I ever see anymore when I look at him. I guess it’s better than focusing on the crap coming out of his mouth.