Actor Will Smith appeared on The Tonight Show Thursday to promote his new film, Suicide Squad, and also briefly discussed the Republican and Democratic National Conventions and his thoughts on race relations in America.
“It’s interesting, I’ve been thinking about it and there’s really two extreme views of America right now,” Smith told Tonight host Jimmy Fallon when asked if he’d watched the political conventions over the past two weeks.
Smith said he has done “a lot of marriage counseling, so I know how to solve problems when people ain’t getting along.”
“Hearing people say the race relations are worse than they’ve ever been, it doesn’t feel like that, to me,” he added. “Racism isn’t getting worse, it’s getting filmed.”
The actor told Fallon that, much like marriage counseling, “once everything gets out on the table, the truth, once everybody’s said everything they’ve been harboring, there’s a really dark time.”
“When you’re just looking at your partner like, ‘Oh my god, that’s what you think?'”
“But there’s a dark before the dawn,” the actor added. “When everything gets out, it’s a good thing. It just sucks bad when the truth is out. But I think everybody can see it now. And I think it’s just a little darkness before the cleansing that we’ll have as we move forward.”
The two-time Oscar nominee has never been very outspoken on social or political issues throughout his two decades of Hollywood dominance. That changed, however, after his wife, actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, criticized the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences during the #OscarsSoWhite controversy earlier this year.
Pinkett-Smith boycotted the Oscars, but wished her friend and the award show’s host, Chris Rock, the best of luck.
“Hey, Chris, I will not be at the Academy Awards and I won’t be watching, but I can’t think of a better man to do the job at hand this year than you, my friend, good luck,” the Gotham actress said at the time.
Will Smith ultimately joined his wife in boycotting the awards show.
“My wife’s not going. It would be awkward for me to show up with Charlize [Theron],” Smith joked on Good Morning America. “No, we’ve discussed it, and we’re a part of this community, but at this current time, we’re uncomfortable to stand there and say this is okay.”
Suicide Squad is in theaters August 5.