Donald Trump, asked to weigh in on the controversy surrounding the lack of minorities nominated this year for Academy Awards, responded that it was a “tough situation” but said that “the whites” don’t get nominations for BET Awards, either.
“I saw someone on your show today saying, ‘Well, what do we do with BET, Black Entertainment?’” Trump said Wednesday on Fox & Friends, referring to an earlier comment by Fox News commentator Stacey Dash, who suggested that, in order to end “segregation,” the N.A.A.C.P. Image Awards and BET Awards should end. (Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, both white men, won the BET award for Best Group in 2013.)
“I thought it was an amazing interview actually. I never even thought of it from that standpoint,” Trump continued. “It would certainly be nice if everybody could be represented properly. And hopefully that’s the case. But perhaps it’s not the case. It’s a—it’s a difficult situation.”
Meanwhile, Will Smith has confirmed he will not be attending next month’s Oscars, joining his wife Jada Pinkett Smith in a boycott over the Academy Awards’ all-white nominee list.
Smith, speaking on Good Morning America, said that diversity is “the American superpower” and that attending the Oscars, given the lack of it among this year’s nominated performers, would be “awkward”.
“So many different people from so many different places adding their ideas to this beautiful American gumbo,” he said. “At its best, Hollywood represents and creates the imagery for that beauty. But for my part, I think I have to protect and fight for the ideals that make our country – and make our Hollywood community – great.”
Smith, who some suggested should have been nominated in the best actor category for his role as a head trauma doctor in the NFL film Concussion, said this year’s nominated actors, who are all white, were “fantastic”, but that the industry was moving “in the wrong direction”. His comments echo those of George Clooney, who earlier this week said the film industry was “moving in the wrong direction” when it came to diversity.