Jada Pinkett Smith was a flashpoint for controversy during The Oscars this year as Will Smith stormed the stage to defend her honor after a seemingly benign joke about her alopecia rubbed him the wrong way. Smith would go on to slap Chris Rock before stomping back off the stage and yelling at the host.
In the weeks and months that followed nearly everyone remotely associated with the trio spoke out, whether looking to fight Will Smith or simply sharing their lost respect, the stories were in no short supply.
Now, Pinkett Smith adds her point of view to the conversation. In her latest episode of Red Table Talk, tucking it inside the introduction to a discussion about alopecia.
“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 some people what alopecia really is,” she casually opened the show, before getting to the meat.
“Now, about Oscar night. My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out, and reconcile,” she said, though she did not directly comment on the joke. “The state of the world today? We need them both. And we all actually need one another 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 out this thing called life together.”
She then moved away from the topic and, and to her credit, did stay away from it the duration of the show as she said she would.
The rest of the episode shifted to an interview with Niki Ball — a woman whose 12-year-old daughter, Rio Allred, committed suicide in March after being bullied about her alopecia. Ball recalled how kids at school called the child “a naked mole rat,” “bug-eyed alien,” and “Mr. and Mrs. Clean.”