In an interview with Angela Rye, Will Smith revealed that he had been called the n-word by cops in Philly when he was growing up. He said, “I grew up in Philadelphia. I grew up under Mayor [Frank] Rizzo. He went from the chief of police to becoming the mayor, and he had an iron hand. I got stopped frequently. So I understand what it’s like to be in those circumstances with the police. I’ve been called n***** by the cops in Philly on more than 10 occasions."
He also discussed the George Floyd murder, saying,“So it was painful to watch but I was I was deeply encouraged by the innate connectivity of the protesters globally and we’ve never been there before…We are in a circumstance that we’ve never been in before. The entire globe has stood up and said to the African American people. ‘We see you and we hear you. How can we help?’ We’ve never been there before.”
He also discussed protesting, saying that he believes peaceful protests are the way to get your point across. He said, “Peaceful protests put a mirror to the demonic imagery of your oppressor. And the more still you are in your peaceful protest, the more clear the mirror is for your oppressor — for the world to see and for them to see themselves."