Saturday, October 16, 2021

Will Smith Believes Everyone is Prejudiced: ‘Racism is Rare’

THR_Issue_40_Actors_RT_Cover2
via THR

*The Hollywood Reporter has explained that there are no actresses of color on its Actress Roundtable cover because there are none “in genuine contention for an Oscar this year,” unlike Will Smith and Samuel L. Jackson, both landed roles worthy of the elite’s praise.

Smith will play Dr. Bennet Omalu in the much buzzed about “Concussion,” while Jackson is being recognized for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s forthcoming “The Hateful Eight.”

The men appear on THR’s Actors Roundtable cover, along with Benecio Del Toro, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine and Joel Edgerton, in which they talk aging and racism in Hollywood.

Asked whether prejudice has affected their careers, Del Toro, who hails from Puerto Rico said:

“One of the first things that they said to me when I came here was, ‘Change your name.’ Maybe that’s one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever done, not changing my name.”

THR_Issue_40_Actors_RT_CoverTHR notes that Will had a bit of a different take on the question, choosing to dissect the difference between racism and prejudice.

“My wife and I were just having this conversation, and we were going to the dictionary for ‘prejudice’ versus ‘racism.’ Everybody is prejudiced. Everybody has their life experiences that make them prefer one thing over another — it makes them prefer blond hair over a brunette; if you see somebody with dark skin walking down the street, you have a different reaction than you have [with] someone who is 5-foot-1 and white.”

He continued:

“But there is a connotation with racism of superiority: You feel that your race generally is superior. And I have to say, I live with constant prejudice, but racism is actually rare — someone who thinks their race is superior. I don’t want to work for them. I don’t want to work at that company. And the times I have come in contact with it, you get away from those people.”

Jackson said that Tarantino’s admiration and overuse of the N-word in his films does not give him pause because, as he explained:

“It’s a movie. But, I mean, life is what life is, and in my world, it’s a pretty common word.”

Read more from their discussion here.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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1 COMMENT

  1. BRUH! Racism is taught in our culture, it’s part of our national fabric. America was quite literally BUILT on racism, the self-perceived superiority of culture and religion on the indigenous populations domestic and abroad, which then brought chattel slavery in the form of displaced Africans to its shores and brutalized, raped, and robbed them of all but the vestiges of culture. To make such a statement that racism is RARE? I don’t think so, bruh. Like your character said in After Earth – danger is real, fear is choice? Racism is real, but do you accept its power OVER you? That is a choice, where I’m sure you made a long time ago and is a testament to your fame, fortune and recognition. But don’t say that RACISM is RARE. It’s not.

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