I wrote a column about Red Table Talk, the Facebook internet show hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith, soon after it premiered. I was enamored of it immediately. From the initial discussion about how to rear a child when the father has moved on to a new woman, to lost friendships over a silly disagreement when no one can remember what it was about, to the recent interview featuring her husband, Will Smith, it has been one of the most enlightening and captivating talk shows I have seen in a long time.
The episode featuring Will Smith was aired in two parts. What fascinated me the most, was the way Will and Jada have created a relationship that works for them. I know it could not have been easy. When they talked about breaking down the stereotypes of the personas they display to the public, then being honest about themselves with each other, it was an eye-opening yet understandable revelation.
It is obvious the two of them have worked on their relationship — and not at a superficial level. If you watch the show, Jada often finishes what Will starts to say. And vice versa. They may not refer to their relationship as marriage per se, but the commitment to one another is evident.
One of the most fascinating tidbits they discussed was from early on in their relationship, when Will’s son from his first marriage was sitting on his lap and Jada went off on Will using profanity. Will said he pulled her aside and told her that was not going to be the kind of behavior he would tolerate. As they spoke about it now, it reflects on how easily and readily hurtful words can be when spoken in a heated argument. Name-calling and insulting commentaries become the defense/offense mechanism toward one another. And in a relationship where two people are supposed to be caring about each other, spewing those words do little to create the kind of bond that is needed for a long-term successful situation. That’s a lesson a lot of people, young and old, need to learn in dealing with loved ones — be they partners, spouses, and especially children!
Will did the majority of the talking in this most recent episode. I don’t know if he was attempting to get certain things out into the public realm because the gossip mill about their relationship is always ongoing. However, to know that a man took the time to look at himself and his relationship with his spouse in order to try to get it right, and to understand all that was going on with their relationship, is to be appreciated.
All the episodes of Red Table Talk can be found online. Check it out!