Will Smith supports higher taxes on the wealthy, but he does have a gasp-inducing threshold: 75 percent.
Speaking on French television this week to promote Men in Black 3, which Columbia Pictures will open May 25, an interviewer broached the hot-button issue with the actor.
“I’m a black man who didn’t go to college, yet I get to travel around the world and sell my movies, and I believe very firmly that America is the only place on Earth that I could exist,” Smith begins. “So I will pay anything that I need to pay to keep my country growing.”
But when the interviewer informs Smith that the new president of France, Francois Hollande, has proposed a 75 percent income tax on earnings above 1 million Euros, the actor balks.
“Seventy-five?” asks Smith. “Yeah, that’s different. That’s different. Yeah, 75. Well, you know, God bless America!”
Several versions of the clip, one of which is below, began hitting the Internet about four days ago, and they surged in popularity Thursday after Bill O’Reilly featured the interview on his Fox News Channel show Wednesday night.
The Smith video comes after another foreign interview with a Hollywood figure took a political turn and went viral this week. Battleship director Peter Berg weighed in on the conflict between Israel and Iran during an interview on Israeli TV to promote his movie, which Universal Pictures will open in the U.S. on Friday.
“You’ve got to decide whether it’s better to allow Iran to be armed or whether a nuclear Iran is less of a threat than an attacked Iran. If you attack Iran right now, they’re going to attack you back. There’s gonna be blood. Israelis will die,” Berg said.
The director also became animated when he found out the interviewer, a 25-year-old man, hadn’t served in the Israeli military, as most men and women are required to after age 18.
“Are you a draft dodger?” Berg asked. “You’ve got to join the army, motherf---ker!”
Video of that exchange is also below.