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Will Smith Is Over Oscar Buzz, Reflects on Changing Attitude Towards Ceremony

Will Smith, who stars in the upcoming film “Collateral Beauty,” said he’s over the Oscar buzz. His thoughts coincide with his decision not to attend the ceremony earlier this year after his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, called for a boycott over the ceremony’s lack of diversity. In several interviews this week about his new movie, Smith detailed his feelings about the awards ceremony.

At the film’s premiere Tuesday, Dec. 13, Smith said he was unfazed by the growing excitement over awards season. “I am a little bit beyond that at this point in my life,” he told Variety. “Anytime that anyone likes it, I will take that.”

While promoting the film in Britain, Smith said on the talk show “Lorraine” that he didn’t always feel indifferent about going to the Oscars. “There was a time in my life when [the] box office was everything and if you didn’t get nominated, you’re under the bed for three weeks and all of that,” Smith said. “It’s always fun to be invited to the party, but that’s all it can be.”

In January, Pinkett-Smith announced she would not attend the 2016 Academy Awards in protest of its overwhelmingly white list of nominees. But this year, industry insiders predicted many Black-led films could earn nominations, leading to at least a temporary end to #OscarsSoWhite. Atlanta Black Star reported that the African-American Film Critics Association released a list of dramas and documentaries that may have a chance to earn a statue, including “Fences,” starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, and the Ava DuVernay-directed “13th.”

The prediction came several months after the Academy sent out 638 invitations to recruit new members to meet goals of diversity and inclusion. Black actors invited included Loretta Devine, Idris Elba, Vivica A. Fox and Anthony Anderson.

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