Jada Pinkett-Smith is known for her expansive acting career and her high-profile highly scrutinized marriage to Will Smith. Remember all of those swinger rumors? She’s also had her share of beef with women in entertainment, but it’s her demeanor, grace, and understanding that always prevailed, and the driving force behind Red Table Talk.
In May 2018, Pinkett-Smith launched a web-based talk show consisting of three generations of women: herself, her mother (Adrienne Banfield-Norris), and her daughter (Willow Smith). Red Table Talk, which is hosted on Facebook Watch and boasts a whopping 5.6 million followers, welcomes an average of 12.5 million viewers into the Smith’s Malibu home every week. Each episode invites a new celebrity guest — one that’s close to the Smith family — to discuss a three-generational look at complex issues like race relations, sexuality, and addiction, but also the complexities of their interpersonal relationships. Pinkett-Smith even opened up a dialogue on her feud with Gabrielle Union or possible divorce from Will. RTT is a place where the tough can be confronted with understanding, care, and resolution.
The three-generation of women culminate a soothing atmosphere with their calm demeanors, open and honest conversations, and truly wise advice – even Willow. In doing so, they’ve also built a safe space where celebrities share their personal accounts and challenges. Rapper Wale revealed his vulnerable side while discussing his desire for a relationship, while Don Lemon discussed the obstacles that come with being a Black gay man in America, and most recently Jordyn Woods spoke publicly for the first time about her scandal involving Tristan Thompson, the kinda-sorta boyfriend, but surely baby daddy of Khloe Kardashian, sister of her BFF Kylie Jenner.
In the 30 minute episode, Jada and her mother introduce Jordyn the way the world has not been able to know her. Woods is not a mere friend of Kylie Jenner, but the daughter of a sound engineer on the set of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Woods grew up with their son Jaden (who introduced her to Kylie) and has been close to the Smith family for years making Red Table Talk the perfect program in which to break her silence.
Pinkett-Smith asks Woods probing questions, allowing her to think about her actions and what she hopes to achieve moving forward. “There’s a family that feels betrayed by you, and you’re clear about that, right?” Pinkett-Smith says to Woods.
In the discussion, Woods takes accountability for all of her actions including attending an after-party at Thompson’s house in which she found comforting to be at the residence of someone she already knew. Woods takes accountability for sitting next to him on the arm of the couch and dangling her feet over his. She takes accountability for Thompson kissing her on her way out. She even takes accountability for not immediately telling Khloe upon returning home out of fear of adding fuel to the already burning fire of numerous Thompson cheating allegations. “I know I was trying to protect Khloé’s heart,” Woods said. “She doesn’t deserve this either. The last thing I want to do was to be that person. I’m no home wrecker. I would never try to hurt someone’s home, especially someone that I love, someone that has a beautiful daughter.”
However, Pinkett-Smith was not going to let the Klan off the hook. Though, speaking in a broader context she says, “Well ya know, Black women can be the most disrespected and disregarded creatures on the Earth.”
“Ya know being a Black woman in the game for so long, I’ve just seen without people even having heard your side, without being given the benefit of the doubt, it just seems so easy to just target Black women and put everything on us even if there are other people involved,” Pinkett-Smith continues as Woods begins to sob, before admitting she’s seen it happen but has never felt it until now.
In closing, Woods tells Pinkett-Smith “There was no judgment and you were willing to talk to me. That means the world to me.” Those words right there is the very reason why RTT is so engaging and popular. In this situation, Pinkett-Smith’s takes a critical, yet sensitive look at the issue regardless of either party’s relation to the Kardashians.
Red Table Talk is accessible via Facebook Watch.