‘Red Table Talk’: Jada Pinkett Smith called out for giving Olivia Giannulli platform to talk on parents' actions

Pinkett Smith’s mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, called Olivia Jade Giannulli’s appearance on the program 'the epitome of white privilege'

                            ‘Red Table Talk’: Jada Pinkett Smith called out for giving Olivia Giannulli platform to talk on parents' actions
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Olivia Jade Giannulli, the daughter of Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, came on Jada Pinkett Smith’s show ‘Red Table Talk’ on Tuesday, December 8, to discuss her family’s involvement in the 2019 college admissions scandal. Olivia Jade had a no holds barred conversation with Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield Norris, breaking her silence on the scandal for the first time since Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli's arrests on March 12, 2019.

"This has been a really eye-opening experience for me... and although there's a lot of negative around it, and a lot of mistakes and wrongdoing, it's led me to have a completely different outlook on a lot of situations," Olivia Jade said on the show. "It's been hard. I think for anybody, no matter what the situation is, you don't want to see your parents go to prison. But also I think it's necessary for us to move on and to move forward.” She added that "there is no justifying" her parents' actions.

"What happened was wrong. I think every single person in my family can be like, 'That was messed up. That was a big mistake,'" she said. "But I think what's so important to me is to learn from the mistake, not to now be shamed and punished and never given a second chance.”

"She's in there right now,” she said about her mom. “She gets to really rethink everything that happened, and kind of figure out when she comes out what she wants to do with what she's learned through all of this and I think that, hopefully, will be a blessing in the end.”

While maintaining that she "was not fully aware" of her parents' scheme when she was applying to USC, she said that she discovered the full extent of their actions when news broke about the scandal. "I remember just like freezing and feeling so ashamed. I went home and hid myself for probably like three or four months," she recalled. She added, "I'm not trying to victimize myself. I don't want pity. I don't deserve pity. We messed up. I just want a second chance to be like, 'I recognize I messed up.'"

"I feel like a huge part of having privilege is not knowing you have privilege," she said. "So when it happened, it didn't feel wrong. It didn't feel like, 'That's not fair. A lot of people don't have that’. I was in my own little bubble focusing about my comfortable world. I never had to look outside of that bubble.”

Olivia Jade's appearance on the show initially caused friction among its hosts. On the point of the aforementioned privilege, Pinkett Smith’s mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, called Olivia’s appearance on the program “the epitome of white privilege.”

"I just found it really ironic that she chose three black women to reach out to for her redemption story," Banfield-Norris said before Olivia Jade joined them at the table. Pinkett Smith disagreed, explaining that listening to Olivia Jade's story was a "practice of compassion”. She said, "To me, this young girl is reaping the repercussions of some actions of her parents."

"I feel like here we are, a White woman coming to Black women for support when we don't get the same from them. It's just bothersome to me on so many levels," Banfield-Norris said.

Fans of the talk show seemed to agree with Banfield-Norris. On Twitter, one person wrote, “I found the debate over whether #RedTableTalk should give Olivia Jade a platform infinitely more interesting than anything Olivia had to say.” Another fan of the show said, “Jada giving Olivia Jade a platform to vindicate her when Olivia was given an opportunity on a gold spoon & didn’t care. Adrienne is right. Black women have gotten convicted for CHANGING ADDRESSES to get their kids in a better school, & don’t get help like this.” One fan said, “Adrienne Banfield-Jones (Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Mom) stood firm on the #RedTableTalk not being the space to implement 'forgiveness' towards problematic white women. I’m happy that she let that be known. Everyone should’ve listened to her + her wisdom.”




“Yeah, Jada is making a false equivalency here. Misogynoir, racism against Black women is very different from the racist history of white people using Black folks for personal redemption. It's about deciding what to lend your platform and time to...and what message that sends,” said one fan of the show. Another fan said, “I have so much to say. First and foremost this Olivia Jade situation hits me hard. The things she and her family got away with gave me a slap to the face. Now with what Jada had said was a bigger slap to the face. Gam is right. They shouldn’t be giving her the platform, atrocious.”



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