Will Smith denounces Trump anti-Islam comments
Will Smith has been in plenty of movies that inspire and positively impact those that watch them, including The Pursuit of Happyness, Independence Day and Concussion. At the Dubai press event for his new movie Suicide Squad, he didn’t deviate from the inspiring personas he usually portrays; he took it as an opportunity to speak out against Islamophobia and Donald Trump, the controversial Republican presidential candidate that has declared an intention to ban Muslims from entering the United States once elected, as a response to the rise of ISIS attacks in the country and beyond.
According to Smith, he was motivated to attend the event in Dubai to show his support for the Middle East, in opposition to the rising Islamophobia in the U.S. He had already been harnessing the power of social media to spread messages that counter the growing anti-Muslim climate in the country, based on a report by the Associated Press.
— Mike Grant (@MikeGrant_LA) August 9, 2016
He also commented on the power of cinema to deliver truthful images. “The Middle East can’t allow Fox News to be the arbiter of the imagery, you know. So cinema is a huge way to be able to deliver the truth of the soul of a place to a global audience.” He gave encouraging words to local filmmakers and producers to use film in different ways as an avenue to tell the story of Dubai to the globe.
Smith expressed feelings of disappointment and embarrassment over Donald Trump and his hateful rhetoric. “As painful as it is to hear Donald Trump talk and as embarrassing as it is as an American to hear him talk, I think it’s good. We get to know who people are and now we get to cleanse it out of our country.” He said that it was “insanity” that the presidential candidate’s offensive comments are tolerated, including his comment on a woman being a “fat pig.”
The multi-awarded actor has been active in combating issues of race and discrimination in Hollywood. Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, joined a boycott of the 2016 Oscar ceremony to protest the nomination of all-white personalities in the acting category, which resulted in the film academy promising that it would double the female and minority membership and make an effort towards more inclusion and diversity in its leadership.