‘This whole Oscar controversy isn’t really about the Oscars’

By Devan Coggan
Updated January 21, 2016 at 04:33 PM EST
Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

After Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Janet Hubert posted a video criticizing Jada Pinkett Smith for saying she would boycott the Oscars, Pinkett Smith has responded and clarified her stance.

“Here’s the deal. This whole Oscar controversy isn’t really about the Oscars,” Pinkett-Smith said in a video posted by Entertainment Tonight. “Really, in my plea to ask all communities and people of color to take back our power is so that we can use it in all sectors of our community. And right now, specifically with African-American people, we have some very serious issues that I think we, as people, have to work together on. So I’m hoping that we can find ways to step together in this instead of finding ways to fight each other.”

Pinkett Smith previously said that she won’t attend this year’s Academy Awards in protest of the lack of diversity among this year’s nominations. Her husband, Concussion star Will Smith, will not attend either.

Hubert, who starred as Aunt Viv on Fresh Prince from 1990 to 1993, shared a video earlier this week attacking Pinkett Smith’s proposed boycott as hypocritical. She expanded on her comments in an interview yesterday with the Los Angeles Times.

“I’m a real freedom fighter,” Hubert told the Times. “I’m not a pretend freedom fighter. I stand up for other actresses, other people. The Smiths just irked me because they are such pretenders, and everything is a photo op. It’s just self-contrived because her hubby didn’t get a nomination.”