Film Forward

Jada Pinkett Smith Praises This Year's Oscar Nominations For Recognizing Diversity

"It’s a beautiful thing to see."

Last year, Jada Pinkett Smith chose to boycott the Academy Awards amid the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. For the past two years, only White performers had been nominated in the acting categories. This year, however, the Academy recognized diversity, and Smith says she is "very proud" of the change.

Seven non-White actors were nominated this year, including a record six Black actors. This also marks the first year that a Black actor has been nominated in all four acting categories, as well as the first time three Black actresses were nominated in the same category. The Best Picture nominees also included several stories focused on people of color.

Smith spoke to Variety this week to share her thoughts on the nominations. "I feel really fantastic. It's a beautiful thing to see," she said. "We had a lot of exceptional films this year. I'm glad to see that projects like Hidden Figures, Fences, and Moonlight are getting recognition."


Smith also added her belief that artists should use their "strong voices" to send a positive message to the world. "Because of the state that our country is in, as artists it's so important we use our platform to help shine light on how we want to be identified as a country. I look at this as a beautiful step towards that."

At the same time, the actress acknowledged that there is still work to be done.

"I'm very proud to be part of the artistic community today," she said. "We have a ways to go, but we've also come a long way. We've come a long way as a country, and we're going to keep stepping."

Smith herself is a part of the change. It was just announced that the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation, which she founded with her husband Will Smith, is partnering with the Sundance Institute to foster diverse talent in the independent film community.

(H/T: Huffington Post)

Cover image: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock, Inc.


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