Jada Pinkett Smith steps out to support Shonda Rhimes, Debbie Allen

Saturday was Pinkett Smith's first public appearance since husband Will Smith slapped Chris Rock during last month's Oscars.

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Jada Pinkett Smith made her first public appearance over the weekend following the infamous smackdown her husband, Will Smith, served up at the 94th Academy Awards last month. 

As reported by People magazine, Pinkett Smith stepped out on Saturday to celebrate the opening of Shonda Rhimes’ new performing arts center in South Los Angeles, which will also house the new Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Pinkett Smith glittered in a gold strapless dress as she posed on the red carpet with Rhimes, Allen, actor Samuel L. Jackson and his wife, LaTanya Richardson Jackson.

Jada Pinkett Smith attends the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022, in Hollywood, California. (Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

In the weeks following Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars, Pinkett Smith has been shrouded in criticism over the perceived toxic relationship that she and her husband appear to have. Critics have also slammed the actress for giving off emotional manipulation vibes and for sharing too many personal details bout her personal life on The Red Table Talk

Some are also giving the side-eye to her battle with alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss. Pinkett Smith has been opening up about her hair-loss journey for years now, and her husband took issue with Rock mocking his wife’s bald head during the Academy Awards last month. 

Comedian Bill Maher has defended Rock’s joke on his HBO gabfest Real Time, telling Pinkett Smith, “just put on a f—ing wig like everybody else at the Oscars if it bothers you so much.”

“I mean, if you are so lucky in life as to have that be your medical problem, just say, ‘Thanks, God,’” Maher said of hair loss on Real Time, as reported by TheWrap. “It’s not life-threatening. You know, it’s part of, for most people, 80% of men, 50% of it’s part of aging. Trust me, I know — it’s the degradation of the flesh. It happens to all of us.”

Maher continued. “I mean, we all … We all, as we age, you know, we look worse. And you do things to deal with it as best you can.”

According to TMZ, Rock didn’t know about Pinkett Smith’s condition prior to making the joke. 

“The joke was funny. It wasn’t hilarious funny, but I know that if he knew that she had alopecia … he wouldn’t make a joke about that,” said Rock’s brother, Kenny, 42, to the Los Angeles Times. “But he didn’t know.”

Meanwhile, Will Smith has apologized to Rock and the Academy for his actions. The veteran actor resigned from the Academy, which later banned him from attending the Oscars ceremony for the next 10 years.

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