Due To War, Will Smith Skips Oscars

Rapper, actor Will Smith will not be present at the Oscars this Sunday due

to the U.S. led assault on Iraq. Nominated for best actor in last years

Oscars for his portrayal of Muhammad Ali, Smith was scheduled to be a

presenter at this years Academy Awards.

Stan Rosenfield, Smith's publicist, eliminated all speculation that Smith's

withdrawal from the Oscars was in protest to the military campaign against


"Not in any way, shape or form," Rosenfield said. "There's no agenda,

there's no speeches. He just did not feel personally comfortable in going

because of the world situation."

While Smith's motives seem to be more benign, he is not the only Academy

invitee who will not be attending the ceremony due to the U.S. led military

campaign. Unlike Smith, Aki Kaurismaki, director of "The Man Without a

Past," nominated for best foreign-language film, stated that his absence at

the Oscars is in direct protest to the campaign against Iraq.