Hollywood is not racist, says Will Smith

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The Independent Culture

The film star Will Smith says Hollywood is not prejudiced against black performers, just unsuccessful ones.

Smith, who is visiting Britain to promote his new film, Bad Boys II, said yesterday that black actors and actresses would get more opportunities if they proved their films could make money.

"The execs don't care about what colour you are, they care about how much money you make," he said in an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live. "Hollywood is really not black or white - it's green," Smith said, referring to the colour of dollar bills. "The real key is that the more black actors are successful at the box office, the more opportunities that are going to open up."

His views contradict those of Halle Berry, who became the first black woman to win the best actress Academy Award last year. Berry said the real celebrations would begin when it was so common for black actresses and actors to be nominated for important awards that race was not an issue.

Denzel Washington, who won the best actor award at the same ceremony, was the first African American man to win that award since Sidney Poitier 38 years earlier.