Jada Pinkett Smith Opens Up About Chris Rock Oscars Slap On ‘Red Table Talk’
Jada Pinkett Smith briefly discussed the Oscars slap in an episode of her talk show Red Table Talk. The main focus of the episode was alopecia, a condition that results in hair loss.
Oscars presenter Chris Rock made a reference to G.I. Jane, which featured a bald Demi Moore, in a joke to Pinkett-Smith, which some found in poor taste due to her condition. Will Smith got up and slapped Rock across the face, and then shouted the comedian down from his seat.
In the wake of the altercation, Smith has been banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years. He eventually issued an apology to Rock on Instagram after being criticized for not naming the comedian during his Best Actor acceptance speech for his King Richard performance.
She began talking about the slap at the very top of the episode, likely aware that it would be on most viewers’ minds from the start. “My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out, and reconcile,” Pinkett-Smith said.
“The state of the world today, we need them both. And we actually need one another more than ever,” she also added. “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.”
Pinkett Smith went on to share the difficulties of living with alopecia and even invited some non-celebrity guests with the condition to share as well. “People don’t understand what alopecia is and they don’t understand the effects of it,” she said. The biggest adjustment for her was “that it comes and goes, so you’re going through a spout of something and you’ve gotta shave your head.”
Among their guests was the mother of a 12-year-old girl, Rio Allred, who suffered from alopecia and took her own life after being bullied for her baldness. “With the hair loss, she was so strong, she just rocked it even when it was still falling out,” her mother said. She said Rio’s classmates would smack her in the head, tear her wig or hats off, and call her names like “naked mole rat” or “bug-eyes alien.”