Jada Pinkett Smith, Lisa Ling unpack Black-Asian divide on ‘RTT’

“This is a really tough subject,” Pinkett Smith says in a teaser of the newest 'Red Table Talk' episode. “There is real animosity between Blacks and Asians and that is rarely talked about.”

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The next episode of Red Table Talk will provide space for one of many much-needed conversations about tensions between Black and Asian communities. Such candid and complicated discussions have become the signature of the hit Facebook Watch series hosted by the family matriarch, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, multi-hyphenate singer and entertainer, Willow Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith Lisa Ling thegrio.com
(Credit: Getty Images)

“This is a really tough subject,” Pinkett-Smith says in a teaser of the episode. “There is real animosity between Blacks and Asians and that is rarely talked about.” 

The newest episode will premiere on Wednesday and the hosts will be joined by journalist Lisa Ling and sociologist and author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, PEOPLE reports. Ling is the host of CNN’s docuseries This is Life with Lisa Ling, which uncovers stories within under-explored communities. 

Read More: The problem of anti-Asian violence is not the doing of Black people

“This is a fight. People wishing harm on my own children. This is life and death at this point,” says Ling.

Physical and systemic violence against Black Americans is the status quo in the U.S. and as hate crimes against Asian Americans are being reported what feels like every week, there is an urgent need to address the ways that members of both communities have perpetuated and participated in historic and present harm. Asian American hate crimes in 16 of the nation’s largest cities soared by 145 percent in 2020, according to California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism

“What we can’t allow is hate of any kind,” says Pinkett Smith.

Since the first Red Table Talk episode dropped in 2018, the show has garnered a Facebook following of over 10 million and tackled mentally and emotionally-taxing topics such as police brutality, domestic violence, suicide, substance abuse, sexual consent, and more. Most recently, the hosts have discussed the Black maternal mortality crisis, polyamory, workplace discrimination, and narcissism. 

Red Table Talk thegrio.com
Adrienne Banfield Norris, Jada Pinkett Smith and Willow Smith (Facebook)

Read More: Adrienne Banfield-Norris talks ‘frustrating’ RTT interview with Olivia Jade

Over the years, the intergenerational trio has also welcomed celebrities who have, at times, found themselves in the center of controversy including Ice Cube, Bobby Brown, T.I., Snoop Dogg, Ayesha Curry, and Olivia Jade Giannulli.  Following her much-tweeted-about “entanglement” with singer August Alsina, Pinkett Smith brought herself to the Red Table in July 2020. 

“This is a tough conversation. But the only way out is through, so join us at the red table to talk about the tension between Black and Asian communities. Don’t miss our all-new episode tomorrow,” reads a post on the show’s Facebook page.

The next RTT episode will premiere Wednesday at 3pm Eastern/12 pm Pacific time on Facebook Watch. 

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