Will Smith returns in new film ‘Focus’

Will Smith returns in new film ‘Focus’


Two years after megaflop ‘After Earth’ Will Smith returns to multiplexes with his latest star vehicle ‘Focus’. This time the former Fresh Prince plays a con artist opposite ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ co-star Margot Robbie.

And it’s this issue that seems to be courting some controversy for the film. Despite it being 2015 (and I just checked, it definitely is) interracial relationships still seem to be a sensitive issue for some. I won’t repeat them here but the youtube comments for the trailer devolved into complaints of ‘race mixing.’

But it must be more than internet trolls who have a problem, as interracial relationships still rarely occur in Hollywood films. Smith himself couldn’t get his 2005 hit ‘Hitch’ greenlit with original co-star Cameron Diaz. Her role had to be recast with Eva Mendez before the project could go forward. Speaking to Female First UK about it in 2005 he said:

‘How are you not going to consider Cameron Diaz? That becomes massive news in the US. Outside America, it’s no big deal. But in the US, it’s still a racial issue. Ironically, Hollywood is happy to do it if the film is about racism. But they won’t simply do it and ignore it.’

10 years later and now Smith has finally got his wish. Similarly, last Christmas’ ‘Annie’ also featured an interracial relationship without making the film about racial issues, so it seems maybe the tide is turning.

In terms of overcoming adversity this seems like a small step -and one most would probably assume we’d already put behind us. But coming after the season of ‘white Oscars’ we’ll take what we can get.

Focus is in Cinemas now.

-Dylan Wiggan


@HouseofBlackUK: Looking for Black/Asian actresses (playing age twenties) for a potential role in a short 10 minute play I'm directi… https://t.co/gGJFUFPUMB