RELAXED PARENTING STYLE: Will Smith with son, Jaden
HOLLYWOOD ACTOR Will Smith has admitted his laid-back parenting style “may have gone too far”.
Speaking to BBC Radio 1Xtra, the father-of-three was asked whether he and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith gave their children too much freedom, to which he jokingly replied: “I think it may have been a mistake, we may have gone too far.”
His comments come after his 17-year-old son Jaden became the face of Louis Vuitton womenswear campaign.
“Jaden is one hundred per cent fearless,” he said of his middle child, brother to Trey, 23, and 15-year-old Willow. “He will do anything. As a parent it’s scary. But he is willing to live and die by his own artistic decisions. He just doesn’t concern himself with what people think.”
The Concussion star also explained his decision to boycott the upcoming Oscars amidst a race row over the lack of black actors up for top gongs.
“To me it’s so far not about me. It’s not about us going to a show or not,” he said.
“For me this is a much bigger social issue,” he went on. “I’m recognising a pattern of the narrowing of the imagery. The narrowing of tolerance in America. The last 18 months that I’ve been watching the news and experiencing the things that are going on in my country, my concern is that Hollywood is reflecting a regressive trend. Hollywood is supposed to lead. It’s supposed to be the most diverse and the most inclusive.”
Smith’s decision was condemned by former colleague Janet Hubert who starred alongside the actor in hit Nineties sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
Hubert accused Smith and wife Jada, who initially called for the boycott, of being hypocrites.
“You ain’t Barack and Michelle Obama,” she said in a scathing video.
“For you to ask other actors, and other black actresses and actors, too, to jeopardise their career and their standing in a town that you know damn well you don’t do that. And here’s the other thing: They don’t care.
"They don’t care! And I find it ironic that somebody who has made their living, made their living and made millions and millions of dollars from the very people you’re talking about boycotting just because you didn’t get a nomination, just because you didn’t win.”
Despite her comments, Smith still took a moment to praise the actress, who played the role of Smith’s aunt on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air before on set conflict resulted in her dismissal.
BBC presenter Amplify Dot jokingly asked: “Which Aunt Viv did you prefer?”
Smith replied: “I think that both of the Aunt Vivs were really, really fantastic. I think when you make a show, any time that you make a change it’s going to be excruciating and painful.
“I think that Janet Hubert brought a really powerful dignity to the show. I think she’s brilliant. I think as an artist there’s so many things that she does. She sings, she dances, she’s like a really powerful artist. I loved what she brought to the Fresh Prince.”