In Atlanta, Jada Pinkett-Smith promotes Facebook Watch’s ‘Red Table Talk’

Originally posted Tuesday, October 23, 2018 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Facebook is getting deeper into the original content world to compete with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube and the like. One of its higher-profile programs is a talk show featuring actresss Jada Pinkett-Smith, her mom Adrienne Banfield-Norris and her daughter Willow Smith.

The show, which tackles subjects ranging from sex to body image to addiction, debuted this spring and was impactful enough for Facebook Watch to give the family 13 more. The second half of season one will include, among other things, a reconciliation between Pinkett-Smith and Leah Remini regarding Scientology.

The latest episode featuring her husband Will Smith was released Monday and was viewed a whopping 3.9 million times within  the first 14 hours. That's more viewers than a typical "The View" episode.

During the episode, Pinkett-Smith revealed she may have once dated "Fresh Prince" co-star Alfonso Ribeiro. She and Smith also went 20 years without cursing at each other as a way to keep arguments from getting uglier.

New episodes air every Monday at noon EST.

Pinkett-Smith and her mom visited Atlanta Friday at the Fairmont to host media and the public to talk about the show. The organizers set up three “roundtable” discussions with various media representatives. Here are excerpts from our 15-minute second table discussion.

On why Pinkett-Smith did this show: "I think for me, the seven years of transformation I've been going through, when you do a lot of healing and you get less fearful of sharing your story, you actually want to share it because you realize that part of going through things is sharing. Instead of keeping things close to the chest, I know for me, when I reached out to  people who were encouraging me to give out the real... that changed my world. Three women specifically reached out to me when I was going through difficult times... It literally changed the trajectory of my life, kept me from making some big mistakes. I was like, "We've got to do this more often. This is ridiculous! Why am I just finding this out?" ... The challenge for me was to be able to put myself out there like that and not be afraid of the judgment that I felt was going to come down on me."

On how Adrienne looks so young at age 64: "There are so many black women and people in general, who are just not healthy. If you're not eating healthy and exercising, everything starts to suffer. I've been on this health journey for a long time since I got clean [27 years ago.]

On how Jada and Will have kept their marriage together, from Adrienne: "I learned from the two of them when they shared their experience with me. They are courageous and brave enough to figure out what works for the two of them. We're stuck in this box of what marriage means, expectations that we have, not just as husband and wife but expectations as mother and friend, as a sister... All these expectations we put on people and roles, you have to put all that aside. We all know a lot of this marriage stuff is fantasy. It's foolishness... You have to have the courage and willingness to create what works for you and your partner and your relationship and not worry about what everybody else is thinking about it. If it works for you and your family and your situation, it's right for you. You two are the only ones that matter... It's hard to block the judgment in any situation, judgment and fear will really control your decisions."

On Jada talking about masturbation in an early episode: "He's so used to talk like that. He's so used to that." [Adrienne: "It took me by surprise! It did!"]

On Jada tearing up in the trailer: "It's really misleading. I wasn't crying because of Will. I was crying because I had created a life for myself that I wasn't happy about. It wasn't him."

On Jada's thoughts of the show's impact: "I like to have real conversation. I am not so into "What's the weather like? What lipstick are you wearing?" I like to talk about real things. I love that we've been able to create such a great community. That makes me feel good."

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