Jada Pinkett Smith talks tackling tough issues at Sundance: “You know how it feels to be invisible”

"If we want to continue to evolve and push forward, we got to have the conversations that we're scared to have."


Jada Pinkett Smith, host and creator of the Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk, is known for tackling a wide range of issues on her show. From body insecurities, to loss, drug addiction, motherhood, marriage, race, the show doesn’t hold back from creating conversations around taboo topics. During MACRO’s event at the Sundance Film Festival,  Smith touched on her desire to not shy away from these conversations.

“If we want to continue to evolve and push forward, we got to have the conversations that we’re scared to have,” she said.

“In regards to how we evolve in our personal lives, intimate relationships, relationships with our kids and our parents, work, how we see the world. When we’re able to hear different perspectives and ideas and how that expands our vision of how we see our life, the possibilities that open up for us. You know when you think, ‘oh it’s suppose to be this way. ‘ No, listen to her. Listen to how she did that. we’re all artists now. We’re living life, life is your masterpiece. So you’re always looking for different tools in order to continue to create your masterpiece…which is life.”

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With these conversations, the show has created an online family– which aligned with Smiths’ vision. She shared with the audience at MACRO that she really wanted to create a space of intimacy where she and her daughter, Willow Smith and mother, Adrienne could have real conversations and create unity around the conversations and connectivities. It’s about the Red Table Talk family and how we flow information, power, and support to one another.

When asked about her perspective on how someone can connect or identify with someone’s experience they can’t relate to, she says not every experience has to be literal.

“There’s so many aspects that if you just think about your own experience– I might not have had to endure physical abuse but I surely [dealt with] emotional abuse. The bruises aren’t on the outside but they show on the inside. The feelings, the isolation, the pain that comes with it is the same.

“You know the feeling as a woman, the sense of not being heard not being seen. I don’t care what color you are, White woman, Asian, Native American, Black. If you’re a woman, you know how it feels to be invisible.”

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Adding on to the discussion about women, Smith reflects on the diverse roles she’s had as a Black actress and avoiding being boxed in.

“I always had in my mind [that I]  always want to represent women, specifically Black women,” she reveals. There’s always these categories, these boxes they want to put us in. And so  I’m always looking for ways to dissolve those boxes.”

“And so for me anytime somebody tells me, ‘NO,’ because I’m a woman [or] Black, that will be a reason for me to do this and not just for myself but just for that other young African-American girl or Native American woman or Asian woman that’s been told that you can’t do this because of your ethnicity or your gender.”

Check out the full conversation here: https://www.facebook.com/538649879867825/posts/740986366300841/