Jada Pinkett-Smith Red Table Talk Review – Race and Privilege Inside the Bubble

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Red Table Talk, a web-series hosted by actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, invited Olivia Jade Giannulli, one of two daughters in the center of the Varsity Blues collegiate scandal that landed her famous parents, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, in prison.

The format of the web series, now entering its third season with 2.9million social media followers, begins with a discussion between Pinkett-Smith, her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and her daughter Willow Smith.


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Ms. Banfield-Norris initiated the discussion on white privilege and race, with a blistering opinion on the motives of Ms. Giannulli and a clear suspicion as to why she chose this forum, a discussion with "three black women" as her first step at redemption.

To Ms. Banfield-Norris's credit her comments were included and directed at Ms. Giannulli during the thirty-minute conversation.

There are so many issues packed in this thirty-minute segment which could be addressed with multiple guests. The race issue is strong within the context of the interview and I wonder the extent of "race" in the orbit of the interviewers; "Where do they live?" "Where do they shop?"

Of course, in the context of the literal and the wider circle of influence that each have within their own orbit. Literally, the women, without the boundaries of race are all are members of the affluent population.

Most Americans understand the insidious history interwoven throughout the chronicles of African life in America. It is such a deeply polarizing topic that even mentioning race and one becomes labeled, and in some instances, careers are permanently destroyed, and individuals ostracized over spoken public opinions and word choices.


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Back to the issue of the video, if her parents had donated to Capital Project improvements, they would have had the same results and no jail time. Universities depend on affluent donors to provide funding for improvements. Buildings are named for them and without issues their children receive acceptance.

Ms. Giannulli's admission of only being 21 and deserving of a second chance are true. She is deserving, as we all are, of second chances. She may have, in the context of the "bubble" she lived believed her actions were simply part of the necessary hurdles to achieve the next level of life. Photoshoots were part of her sphere. Was she complicit in the scam? At, this point, she is a victim of privilege.


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The Red Table Talk provided the forum for Ms. Giannulli to voice her opinions on a wide range of topics centered on this scandal. She aced some and others truly fell flat. It is a challenge at twenty-one with her background to absorb the scope of the actual issues behind the outrage.

She may not have taken a spot that any minority would have earned. Admissions can be fickle; not simply grades and test scores, applicants are evaluated on several issues including unknown future influence.

Absent of color or race she was among her peers at Red Table Talk and genuinely tried to explain her version of the events. She did live true to herself during her influencer days, she didn't hide her lack of concern over academic pursuits, and until the arrest of her parents and others, her sponsors didn't feel the need to attempt to correct this wayward spirit.


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Jada-Pinkett-Smith's Red Table Talk did provide the safe place for Olivia Jade and in the spirit of parental guidance Ms. Pinkett-Smith didn't allow her to skirt around the truth of the issue or give her a free pass.

Red Table Talk can be seen on here.

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