Will Smith may be one of the few actors who seems to hold a permanent spot on the A-list in Hollywood, but that doesn’t protect him completely from experiencing prejudice against him as an African American.
First, he distinguished between “prejudice” and “racism,” according to the definitions in the dictionary.
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. But there is a connotation with racism of superiority: You feel that your race generally is superior.”
Will said that while he deals with “constant prejudice,” he rarely experiences racism.
I don’t want to work for them [racists]. 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.”
Smart move! He’s fortunate to be in a position where he can do that.
Despite the prejudice he has experienced, Will said that the United States was the only place on Earth where he could have the career that he has.
America is the only place on Earth that I could exist. No other country on Earth is producing people that look like me and allowing them to have a global [impact].”
He’s got a point there. When it comes to movies, he appreciates their power.
Historically, story combined with imagery moves humanity forward. What we do – not that it’s a responsibility, but it is the ultimate forum for changing people’s hearts and minds. So when I’m choosing a movie, I understand the global power of being able to send imagery around the world.
“I’m always asking, ‘Why am I making this?’ With Concussion, Dr. Bennet Omalu was deeply connected to tell the truth. And he said that truth doesn’t have a side. I thought that was such a powerful idea. Whose side are you on? Are you a Republican or a Democrat? I’m just trying to tell the truth. The truth doesn’t have a side.”
‘Concussion’ is about a forensic pathologist who was the first to discover Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a disease found in many athletes and others who experience repetitive trauma to the head. The movie will hit theaters on Christmas Day. It’s on my list!
Photos by FAMEFLYNET