Jada Pinkett Smith came to Anne Hathaway’s defense after she was criticized over a past Instagram post about the murder of Nia Wilson, and how ‘white people’ need to be aware of black lives. Jada called Anne an ‘ally’ while discussing ‘white privilege.’
Anne Hathaway, 36, has the support of Jada Pinkett Smith, 47, after she was hit with criticism for a July, 2018 Instagram post about the murder of Nia Wilson. Wilson died after being stabbed in the neck on July 22, 2018 by a man later identified as John Cowell, after exiting a Bay Area Rapid Transit train in Oakland, CA. After Wilson’s death garnered international news attention, Hathaway posted a photo of her [Wilson], urging “white people” to acknowledge “that ALL black people fear for their lives DAILY in America”. The topic of white privilege in America is a controversial one to say the least, therefore Hathaway was forced to disable the comments section on the post after negative backlash from Instagram users.
However, Pinkett Smith reignited the sensitive topic — and how it affects the relationships between white women and women of color — during her Facebook series, Red Table Talk on Monday, February 18, alongside her 18-year-old daughter Willow Smith and mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones. The episode’s guests included: activist and writer Rachel Cargle, actress Justina Machado, and Amie Newman.
During the talk, which was filmed inside the Smith’s home, Jada noted the importance of allowing white women to be “allies” to women of color. “As women of color, we really have to recognize when white women come in to help that we make room for it,” she said. “Because there’s been a couple of times, like when Anne Hathaway, or… at some point, when are we as Black women going to be able to recognize an ally?”
Pinkett Smith introduced the episode, titled “Unpacking White Privilege and Prejudice”, with an explanation about the “uneasy” topic. “We all know we know we have a problem of women of color in one corner and white women in another corner,” she began. “So, how do we close the gap? How do we dissolve the divide? You may why, why we should care. The fact is, that no woman is free until all women are free. Race is never and easy subject. but that is what the ‘Red Table’ is here for. — To push ourselves to have conversations that scare us,” Jada explained before introducing the table’s three guests: Cargle, Machado, and Newman.
Later in the discussion, Pinkett Smith talked about the struggles many white women face when they attempt to help women of color.
“I just know we can have a certain kind of demeanor that’s like, ‘Why are you here?’” Pinkett Smith said.
That’s when Willow chimed in: “You have to earn that trust. You have to earn that relationship.”
And, Banefield-Jones agreed with Willow. “We’ve talked about that lack of trust because white women have deceived us over and over and over again,” she added.
“I believe that we have to take leaps as well,” Jada said. “All I’m saying is we need them, they need us, we need you, we need each other. We have to be able to sit in a bit of vulnerability to allow for a certain kind of healing to occur.”