Will.i.am was in Davos for the World Economic Forum this week, raising money to teach kids skills like coding and about technology. Fusion’s Enrique Acevedo sat down with the musician and media mogul to also chat about the recent controversy surrounding the lack of diversity among Oscar nominees. For the second year in a row, no person of color was nominated for an Academy Award, and—unlike 2015—no film prominently featuring a person of color was nominated for Best Picture.
But will.i.am says that boycotting this year’s ceremony—which people like Spike Lee and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have decided to do—and complaining about the Academy is a “waste of time and energy.” He says those same prominent figures in Hollywood could be doing more.
“That ‘establishment’—we’re empowering it by complaining about it when the actors that are boycotting are powerful,” will.i.am told Fusion. “They could be elite, too, they have every right to be the new ‘establishment.’ I don’t get it.”
Will.i.am mentioned attending the Latin Grammys, which he said were created to acknowledge the Latin community because it was underrepresented at the “Grammy Grammys.”
“Why can’t we start our own Academy?” he said.
Watch the full interview here: