Date: 21st March 2003

Will Smith drops out of Oscars

Will Smith has announced he will not be attending the Oscars because of the war against Iraq.

The actor has asked to be excused from Sunday's ceremony, claiming that he feels uncomfortable attending.

It is thought he is the first Hollywood star to pull out of the annual event, which is to go ahead without its traditional red carpet arrivals.

In a statement, Smith's publicist Stan Rosenfield said: "He felt uncomfortable in attending and respectfully asked to be excused.

There's no agenda, there's no speeches. He just felt uncomfortable in attending."

Cate Blanchett is also rumoured to have dropped out of the Los Angeles ceremony, where she is set to present one of the awards.

But her spokeswoman told the actress is still planning to attend.

Source: Press Release