"This is far beyond me. This has nothing to do with me," Smith told the BBC. "This has nothing to do with awards. Awards, that's a really frivolous reason for me to put my hand up and make a statement. For me, this is much more about the idea of diversity and inclusion."
Smith, his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, and other celebrities including Spike Lee have announced plans to boycott this year's Oscars ceremony because, for the second year in a row, all of the acting nominees are white.
In Concussion, Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian forensic pathologist who published a paper about the chronic brain injuries suffered by pro football players. The role had generated Oscar buzz since before the film's release; however, Smith was passed over for a Best Actor nomination.
Smith also said he applauds the Academy's recent announcement that it is eliminating automatic lifetime memberships and taking other steps to increase its diversity.
"I was very pleased at how quickly and aggressively the Academy responded," he said.
See Smith's full BBC interview here.