Jada Pinkett Smith has praised the diverse and "beautiful" Oscar nominations. The 45-year-old actress and her 'Suicide Squad' husband Will Smith
joined a range of celebrities in protesting against the apparent lack of diversity amongst the Academy Award nominations for 2016, but she has been blown away by the representation of black stars in this year's shortlist.
Speaking to Variety, she said: "I feel really fantastic. It's a beautiful thing to see. We had a lot of exceptional films this year. "I'm glad to see that protects like 'Hidden Figures', 'Fences' and 'Moonlight' are getting recognition. I'm very proud this morning." The 'Magic Mike XXL' star feels it is more important than ever before for artists to use their status to express how they want to Hollywood to be "identified" especially with the election of President Donald Trump.
She added: "Because of the state that this country is in, as artists it's so important we use our platform to help shine light on how we want to be identified as a country. "I look at this beautiful step towards that. "Just our participation as artists in this time of how went want to represent our country, what is the messaging we want the world to see. "As artists we have strong voices. We create strong imagery in regards to the identity of our country. "It's important that we take responsibility for that."
Despite a more diverse line up this year, Will said he will continue to boycott the Oscars in 2017, regardless of whether he receives a nomination or not. He previously said: "You know what, there was a time in my life when box office was everything. "You know, if you didn't get nominated you were under the bed for three weeks and all of that.
"It's always fun to be invited to the party, but that's all it can be." But the 'Concussion' star isn't holding a grudge against The Academy, as he said earlier this year he was "very pleased" at the speedy response given by the board, who said they aimed to double its number of female and minority members by 2020.
He said at the time: "I was very pleased at how quickly and aggressively the Academy responded. But I want to be very clear about the spirit of what I'm saying. This is far beyond me. This has nothing to do with me, this has nothing to do with awards. Awards, that's a really frivolous reason for me to put my hand up and make a statement. For me, this is much more about the idea of diversity and inclusion."