It looks like Jada Pinkett Smith is finally ready to start addressing the incident that went down at this year’s Oscars between Will Smith and Chris Rock.
More than two months after the slap heard ’round the world, the 50-year-old actress took a moment at the start of the latest episode of Red Table Talk, which was primarily focused on the impact of the autoimmune disorder alopecia on people’s lives, to (briefly) speak on the controversy. Makes sense considering her alopecia was at the center of all this — as Chris’ really lame joke about her baldness is what set off Will.
So what did Jada have to say? With her co-hosts, daughter Willow Smith and momma Adrienne Banfield-Norris by her side, she said on Wednesday:
“Considering what I’ve been through with my own health and what happened at the Oscars, thousands have reached out to me with their stories. I’m using this moment to give our alopecia family an opportunity to talk about what it’s like to have this condition and to inform people about what alopecia actually is.”
But when it comes down to the Oscars incident? Jada had a message of peace, expressing to viewers that she ultimately hopes Will and Chris can put it in the past one day:
“Now, about Oscar night, my deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out and reconcile. The state of the world today, we need them both. And we all actually need one other more than ever. Until then, Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years, and that’s keep figuring this thing called life together.”
As Perezcious readers will recall, Chris mocked Jada’s shaved head, joking that she looked ready for G.I. Jane 2 — a joke so old it can legally drink. The Nutty Professor star had been vocal about the pain caused by her hair loss — so unsurprisingly, the dig did not go over well. Will tried to laugh it off, but when he saw Jada’s face, something snapped. The 53-year-old nominee strolled onto the stage and struck Chris across the face.
Following the scandal, Will issued an apology for the violence and resigned from the Academy. He was then banned from attending the award show for the next 10 years. And while Jada has remained mostly silent since the slap happened, posting a quote on Instagram about it being the “season for healing” at one point, many celebs have not been shy about voicing their opinions on the attack — ranging from outrage to support.
While the whole Red Table Talk wasn’t about the Oscars, it did seem designed to reframe the conversation about the joke that started it all. Following the more direct reference to The Slap, the episode focused on guest Niki Ball whose 12-year-old daughter Rio Allrad died by suicide after being constantly bullied about her alopecia.
Niki explained the impact the Oscars had within the alopecia community. She recalled how the condition started to become more talked about than ever, noting how it created an “uproar” within the community:
“Not even two weeks later, the Oscars was on and I was just like, what is the universe doing right now? This is crazy. People are gonna be googling ‘What is alopecia? What is this that we have never heard of?’ It is not a joke, the alopecia community was already in an uproar. We had heard from so many people. I didn’t realize how huge and amazing that community is.”
Becoming emotional, the mom added:
“I wish I would have found them for [Rio] sooner instead of them coming and speaking at her funeral.”
So heartbreaking. Jada then tearfully thanked Niki for sharing her story, noting how much it inspired her, especially after the Oscars incident:
“Rio’s story through this really difficult time has been really inspirational for me. When I heard her story, it affected me so profoundly. I feel like I am part of such a beautiful tribe, the alopecia community is such a beautiful, amazing tribe. And I feel like I have this family that beautiful Rio is a part of. Just thank you once again for your courage and strength and willingness to share her light, to share her story, the story of your family, because it just helps to educate us all. Thank you deeply.”
We cannot imagine how difficult this discussion must have been. And hopefully, this sheds light on just how harmful and terrible it can be to make fun of someone dealing with an autoimmune disorder like alopecia. You can watch the entire candid conversation with Niki (below):
Now that Jada has spoken out some more about the Oscars slap, we’ll have to see if she plans on bringing Will to the table sometime soon to really dive into the whole situation. Thoughts on what she had to say? Let us know in the comments.
[Image via Red Table Talk/Facebook,The Telegraph/YouTube ]