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Will Smith Says His Oscars Boycott Isn't Because He Was Snubbed

Plus: He's "pleased" with the Academy's response

Liz Raftery

Will Smith swears his Oscars boycott has nothing to do with the fact that he was not nominated for his role in Concussion.

"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.

Oscars: See the full list of nominees

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.