Will Smith has opened up on his support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
In an interview with GQ, he said: “Anybody who tries to debate Black Lives Matter looks ridiculous.”
The Independence Day star went on to praise the effectiveness of the statement: “I feel like the simplicity of Black Lives Matter was perfect. When I talk about the marketing of our ideas, Black Lives Matter was perfection.”
Smith also talked about the movement to “defund the police”: “So ‘Abolish the police. Defund the police.’ I would love if we would just say ‘Defund the bad police.’ It’s almost like I want, as Black Americans, for us to change our marketing for the new position we’re in.”
He continued: “From a standpoint of getting it done, Black Lives Matter gets it done. ‘Defund the police’ doesn’t get it done, no matter how good the ideas are. I’m not saying we shouldn’t defund the police. I’m saying, just don’t say that, because then people who would help you won’t.”
Smith also discussed his new film, Emancipation and why he has previously avoided making films about slavery: “In the early part of my career I didn’t want to show Black people in that light. I wanted to be a superhero. So I wanted to depict Black excellence alongside my white counterparts.”
He went on to reveal why he turned down the lead role in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained: The first time I considered it [making a slavery film] was Django. But I didn’t want to make a slavery film about vengeance.”
Instead of being about the dehumanising violence of slavery, Smith says Emancipation takes a different angle: “This was one that was about love and the power of Black love. And that was something that I could rock with. We were going to make a story about how Black love makes us invincible.”
Emancipation will be able to watch on Apple TV Plus. It is directed by Antoine Fuqua and also stars Ben Foster.