Everyone wants a spot at the Red Table!
2020 was another huge year for Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield Norris and their Facebook Watch series “Red Table Talk,” which had everyone talking with more emotional…
Everyone wants a spot at the Red Table!
2020 was another huge year for Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield Norris and their Facebook Watch series "Red Table Talk," which had everyone talking with more emotionally raw episodes touching on some of the most buzz-worthy topics on the Internet.
The show made its biggest headlines when Jada and Will Smith brought themselves to the table to address infidelity rumors involving singer August Alsina, who had actually appeared on a past episode of the show. The episode has nearly 40 million views and, surprisingly, isn't even the most viewed one of the year.
Over the past 12 months, the trio has tackled white privilege, mom-shaming, the coronavirus pandemic and more -- with guests including Matthew McConaughey, Amber Rose and Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli's daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli, who made her first public comments about her family's involvement in the college admissions scandal.
Here are 10 episodes that really had everyone talking.
Jada Brings Herself to the Red Table
Earlier this year, August Alsina claimed Will Smith gave him "his blessing" to pursue a relationship with Jada after he met the Smith family in 2015. During a very special Red Table Talk, done alongside Will, Jada admitted she and August had a relationship during a separation from her husband.
Jada admitted she and Will were going through a rough patch, with Will saying, "I was done with you." During a separation, they agreed they would try and find a way to be happy without each other.
"I got into an entanglement with August," she said, as he pushed for more details. "A relationship, it was a relationship, absolutely. I was in a lot of pain, I was broken and in the process of that relationship I definitely realized that you can't find happiness outside of yourself. And luckily enough, you and I were also going through a process of healing in a much different manner."
Jada said the relationship taught her about her own emotional insecurity, "and I was really able to do some really deep healing." She added that August decided to "break all communication" with her and they hadn't spoken since. The episode ended with Will and Jada proclaiming, "We ride together, we die together, Bad Marriage for life."
Will Smith's Takeover
Will took over Jada's show after "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" reunion dropped on HBO Max, with a special episode dedicated to his long-overdue reunion with former costar Janet Hubert.
Previously-unseen footage from the special proved just how emotional of a shoot it was, as the two had to stop filming at one point and go outside for a breather.
"At first, we were all just one big happy family. But as time went on, our relationship soured and I handled it poorly," Smith admitted in a voiceover, before Hubert appeared in a confessional to talk about some of the mistreatment.
"He was young, he was out of control in his own way, he had all this power," she recalled. "There was a need for me to have professionalism on the set, because I was used to it, especially as a dancer." She didn't get that from Smith, who admitted he was insensitive and added "I wasn't perceptive and, ultimately, I wasn't kind."
Hubert walked from the show after being offered a deal she felt was meant to put her in her place.
"How do you survive with a mortgage, a new business, a new baby and a husband who wasn't working at the time? How do you survive? So much of what you said destroyed everywhere we went. It beat me up. I lost my house. I lost everything," she then told him.
"Black people beat my ass. They beat my son's ass. Somebody smashed a cookie in my son's face and said, 'Your mother is a bitch.' People send me hateful Instagrams, 'Aren't you dead yet?' 'I love Will, why don't you just die?' It was hard," she continued. "I promised my dad I would clear my name because it's his name and my family said you've ruined our name."
Smith began to tear up at that point, pulling out a tissue to dab away his tears. "But you're the big star, I'm just a little Black bitch," said Hubert. Smith admitted to being a "scared little boy" and said he "didn't realize the power" of his words. He acknowledged that "it was all way too far on my end," and he now realized just how hard a time she was having back then. He vowed to be a source of support and protection for her going forward.
Gam Confronts Olivia Jade
Before Olivia Jade sat down at the table to talk about her family's involvement in the college admissions scam, Gammy made it clear she didn't want Olivia on their show in the first place.
"I fought it tooth and nail," said Gam. "I found it really ironic that she chose three Black women to reach out to for her redemption story. I feel like, here we are, a white woman coming to Black women for support when we don't get the same from them. It's bothersome to me on so many levels. Her being here is the epitome of white privilege to me."
Once she joined them, Gam asked Olivia if she had a "clear understanding of what privilege really is now," with the influencer answering, "Just based off my skin color, I already had one foot in the door and I was already ahead of everybody else. 100% I can recognize that."
"Do you understand why people in the community might be upset?" Gam then asked. "Do you understand why I would be upset at your being here and what you all did?"
Olivia told her she'd love to hear why from Gam herself, with Norris not holding back.
"For me, it's like, there is so much violent dehumanization that the Black community has to go through on a daily basis, there is so much devastation, particularly this year, 2020, with the pandemic and everything being brought to the table, there's so much inequality and inequity that when you come to the table with something like this, it's like child, please," she told her.
"I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted with everything we have to deal with as a community and I just don't have the energy to put into the fact that you lost your endorsements or you're not in school right now," continued Norris. "Because, at the end of the day, you're going to be okay ... and there's so many of us that it's not going to be that situation. It just makes it very difficult right now for me to care. In this atmosphere we are in right now."
"I don't want you to take it personally, it's not really about you," Norris clarified, adding that she was glad to hear Olivia had a desire to learn what she had done wrong and was doing something other than throwing money at the problem to try and make a difference. As the episode wrapped, Willow cracked, "The wrath of Gam is no joke."
Amber Rose and Rumer Willis Share Experiences with Nonconsensual Sex
Rumer Willis and Amber Rose joined the table for a frank conversation focused on the "gray areas" around sex and consent.
"When I lost my virginity when I was 18, I was more concerned with the shame I was feeling of not having done it. I was not abused, it wasn't rape, but I didn't say yes," revealed Willis. "I wasn't gung-ho about it, but I also didn't say no, I just let it happen. He was older, he took advantage and didn't check in. That's where I feel like the men's responsibility is."
"No means no, but what if you can't say no?" she asked. "What if you're in a position and you're going, 'I can't express no because I've never done this'?"
She then detailed another recent incident where she felt her partner was ignoring all the signs she was uncomfortable with what was going on. "There was no awareness from him of my discomfort ... I was obviously uncomfortable and trying to shut it down, even though I couldn't say anything."
Amber Rose also shared a story about how an ex she dated for two years -- and with whom she had "consensual sex plenty of times" -- reacted when she told him she didn't want to be with him anymore.
"He ripped my clothes off, I felt icky, I felt gross, I felt I was taken advantage of. It was terrible. Then he went downstairs and had breakfast, like he didn't do anything," she said. "The gray area in that situation is, I had sex with him so many times within these two years, I didn't fully understand what had happened but I know what I felt like after."
To take action in her own life, Amber said she has been very upfront with her son Bash -- who she shares with Wiz Khalifa -- about "everything," including menstruation and consent.
Snoop Dogg In the Hot Seat for Gayle King Comments
Snoop Dogg appeared on the show to talk about why he angrily went off on Gayle King and called her a "dog-haired bitch" for bringing up the rape allegations against Kobe Bryant in an interview with Lisa Leslie after his death.
Smith said the second time she was "rooting" for Snoop was when he decided to apologize to Gayle. Of why he went in so hard on King, the rapper admitted he lost control after the deaths of Kobe, daughter Gianna, Nipsey Hussle and both his own grandson and grandmother.
"I let my emotions get the best of me," he said, adding that there are so few black "superheroes," it was hard for him to see King bring up the rape allegation.
"You may think it was more people against me, it was more people with me," Snoop noted, adding that many who agreed with his sentiment also said he shouldn't have said it the way he did. "There's always some wrong in the right, you just have to look for it, and I went looking for it," he said, "I wanted to make sure that the message was across that we love Kobe and be respectful of Vanessa and those kids."
The rapper said the reaction to his outburst "made me feel like I had too much power and at that particular time, I was abusing it." He said he also got "calls from Tyler Perry, Puff Daddy, Van Jones," who he says didn't "bash" him and had his back, but also told him, "We think that you shouldn't have said it."
Jada and Will's Conversation About Parenting, Failures and Divorce
Will made quite a few appearances on RTT this year, including a special Father's Day episode where he and Jada interviewed each other. The conversation covered everything, including Will growing up in an abusive household, his first marriage and divorce and the mistakes he's made parenting all three of his kids.
"Divorce was the worst thing in my adult life, divorce was the ultimate failure for me," he said of his split from Sheree Zampino. "I've been hurt a lot in my adult life, but I don't think anything touches the failure of getting divorced from my 2-year-old son's mother."
After being somewhat of a distant father to Trey, Will said he didn't want to do the same thing with Willow and Jaden -- and that was part of the reason they were homeschooled. "My kids, being with me, is of a higher value than sitting in a classroom," he said. "Spending time with me ... for me, the nature of my job has me physically and mentally distracted so I have to make up for that with presence, you have to be with me."
While Will had a certain style of parenting down pat, he admitted raising Willow "destroyed all of my belief systems." Though Trey got the "old school" version of parenting, he noticed that was "hurting" Jaden. Willow, meanwhile, "rejected it thoroughly."
He then recalled the issues they had following the success of "Whip My Hair," as she wanted to quit her tour with Justin Bieber after just 4 or 5 shows.
"She was ready to go home. I was like, 'You can't go home.' She kept asking, she was like, 'Daddy, it doesn't matter how I feel?'" he recalled. She then shaved her head, which he saw as an act of defiance.
"It was so devastating to me when she shaved her head bald because her record is 'Whip My Hair.' That's a protest against me," he said. "I took that as a sign from the gods. I was like, this little girl is rejecting what I'm trying to do for her. She doesn't want it."
"She was crying, she was scared, but what she wasn't gonna do was something she didn't want to do," he added, with Jada praising Willow for rebuilding her career "the way she wanted it."
McConaughey's Mama Joins the Show
Everything may be cool between them now, but there was a long stretch of time where Matthew McConaughey and his mother Kay were on the outs after he got famous.
The two appeared on the show together, where they explained why they were estranged for eight years. "Mom and I had a rough patch for about eight years right after I got famous, but we healed that up back in 2004," he began, saying the trouble began shortly after the success of "A Time to Kill."
"I started having my weekly Sunday call home to call my mother ... mother wouldn't answer the phone, a fan of my fame was answering the phone," he continued. "I was trying to find my own balance with fame and I would share things with her and to whatever amount of innocence it was -- we can now completely laugh about it -- but some of those things I would share might show up in the six o'clock news three days later."
He pointed to one house tour she gave to "Hard Copy," in which she revealed embarrassing tidbits about him as she showed off his bedroom and bathroom.
"Mom's leading the camera, 'Here's the bed where I caught him in Michelle, it's no big deal, because he didn't last,'" he said. "'And here's the bathroom, walked in on him and caught him doing you know what.' I'm going, 'Holy shit, mom!'"
McConaughey said he wasn't able "to talk to her as my mom for about eight years," finally sharing personal information with her again once his career "stabilized enough where I felt like she couldn't sink it."
Adrienne could relate, saying said Jada would tell her, 'Don't you dare ask" any of their famous friends for photos. "I definitely understand it. Doesn't mean I don't want the pictures, but I do understand," she added.
A Girls Trip Reunion
Quarantine was filled with virtual reunions in 2020 -- and one of the most delightful was with the cast of "Girls Trip." Queen Latifah, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish all joined Jada for an episode in April, filled with a few TMI tidbits.
"Bumble be popping. You can talk to guys, FaceTime without them having your phone number and watching TV shows together, them watching me cook something, stuff like that," Haddish said of dating in lockdown, before she started seeing Common. "It's fun til the dudes try to pull their wee-wees out. I don't want to see your thing thing just yet!"
She went on to explain why she prefers small penises, saying, "I feel like small ones respect you, they kind, they buy you nice gifts. Small penises are penises of service. Big penises are disrespectful." Added Regina, "I'm always a person who appreciated an average size. We're both happy, no one has shame."
The women then took some questions from viewers, as one asked if they'd be game for a "Girls Trip" sequel. "I think we're all down, we just want to make sure it's amazing," said Regina. "That it's the right thing and a great thing."
Latifah said she couldn't wait to do it and hoped they could go somewhere "fun." As Haddish suggested the Samoan islands, Hall joked, "Do they have little dicks? I don't want to go anywhere the big ones are."
Why Willow Quit Weed
Once an avid marijuana user, Willow revealed she no longer lights up. During an episode about coping with addiction and anxiety during the pandemic, Jada said her daughter had taken a step back from her former habit.
"Willow, I'm really proud of you as well because you have decided to curb your excessive weed smoking," she said, as Willow reminded viewers that Jada would always tell her, "You gotta stop that smokin'."
"Only because as your mother, I could see the effects of it that you couldn't," explained Jada. Added grandma Adrienne Banfield Norris, who overcame substance abuse herself, "For me, it was like, with the history we have in our family, it was driving me crazy."
According to Willow, she hasn't been smoking marijuana for three months and while she still uses CBD, she has stepped away from THC entirely.
"When I stopped smoking it was a really big eye opener because there are so many people I called friends in my life who [drifted away]," she explained. "It really made me think. It's very social, for me it was. When you're young and you're with your friends, you don't think anything of it."
While she acknowledged how beneficial marijuana can be for medicinal use, she added that she's been feeling less anxious since she stopped smoking, something that really surprised her. Willow said she's also been more productive and more focused.
Willow Felt Shunned by Black Community
In an episode about mom-shaming, Jada opened up about the backlash she experienced over how she and Will raised their children.
"I have had my fair share of mom shaming," explained Jada. "With Willow, I think the first time I got hardcore criticism, when you first cut your hair, there was a firestorm."
Willow pointed out Jada was also slammed for homeschooling the two of them. Jada explained the kids were homeschooled so that they were able to be with her and Will while they worked.
"I would have gotten shamed for leaving you here and not being with you," she added. "They weren't raised typically and I think, especially for our community, it was something new."
"Specifically with the African American community," added Willow. "I felt like me and Jaden were like shunned a little bit, we're not gonna take pride in them because they're too different. Even some of our family members, I would feel they thought, 'You're too different.'"
Jada also revealed she got "hardcore" shaming for Jaden as well, especially as he started to express himself more freely as he grew up.
"I think as Jaden got older, when he did the Louis Vuitton thing, he's wearing a skirt and then he isn't what people consider your typical Black man, what's that supposed to mean?" she asked. "It's something we as a community need to learn to let go of. I know people felt like it's dangerous, you are doing your kids a disservice. I knew that self confidence is what helped me to survive."
Willow's Rare Comment About Her Love Life
In one of the final episodes of 2020, the women all opened up about their "biggest heartbreaks" of the year.
"I've had some personal decisions I needed to make this year that were really hard," revealed Willow when asked to share her most recent heartbreak. "I learned how to set some boundaries in my romantic relationship/ships and I'm so grateful that my partner was just open to what I had to say."
"When you truly love someone, no matter what, you're gonna want what's best for them," she added. "I felt like I was almost making the situation bigger than it needed to be."
Jada applauded how Willow and her unnamed partner "did a good job working it out together." Willow, meanwhile, thanked Michaela for how she was able to help them both out, "a lot," as well.
While the 20-year-old is notoriously private about her love life, Willow's most recently been linked to musician Tyler Cole, who was referred to as a "close family friend" in a recent episode of "RTT."
Jada didn't get too specific when it was her time to share, simply saying she's "had plenty of heartbreak" in her life. "Devastating heartbreak," she added, "But what I'm still trying to learn is allowing for that tenderness. I go straight into fight. I think that has a lot to do with the fear of being hurt."
We're sure they'll keep the revelations coming in 2021!
Source: Full Feed | Toofab.com https://toofab.com/2021/01/01/red-table-talk-revelations-of-2020/