David Oyelowo was concerned Will Smith’s slap will be detrimental to the “continued push for inclusion”.

David Oyelowo has opened up about Will Smith’s slap in the face at the 2022 Oscars, saying he fears it could hurt Hollywood’s “continued push for inclusion”.

The Emmy-nominated actor has witnessed many dramatic Oscar scenes firsthand, including Selmas Snub for Best Actor and Best Director, which started the #OscarsSoWhite trend, and the accidental announcement of la la country for best film in 2017, for which his reaction went viral.

However, the events that transpired after Chris Rock jokingly compared Jada Pinkett Smith to “GI Jane” left Oyelowo concerned about the negative impact it could have on diversity in the entertainment business.

“As I slowly began to realize what had just happened on stage at the Dolby Theater, I was met with the same growing fear that all black people feel when the face that appears on the news after a crime is reported one is Black One,” Oyelowo wrote in a recent column for The Hollywood Reporter.

He continued, “You catch yourself thinking, ‘What does this mean for us? What does that mean for me?’

“As a black man in the public eye, you are constantly aware of the fact that your existence is political. You are constantly in a state where you are either serving as an example to perpetuate or debunk a stereotype.”

Oyelowo added, “It’s a burden I have to accept, even though it’s inherently exhausting.”

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He went on to describe a racially “coded” encounter with “an elderly white gentleman” at an Oscars after-party who said to him: “[Smith] should have been pulled right out of there.”

Oyelowo continued, “Let’s not forget that the man who approached me at that after-party has a disposition.

“His chatty demeanor and half-smile on his face show what must not creep in after this incident,” he concluded. “This incident was not intended to be a springboard for proxy arguments in Hollywood circles about race, respectability and belonging. I challenge the good people of good intentions to focus on building on the great gains we’ve made recently.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/david-oyelowo-will-smith-oscar-slap-b2053121.html David Oyelowo was concerned Will Smith’s slap will be detrimental to the “continued push for inclusion”.


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