Red Table Talk will not be addressing that Oscars slap—for now. Season five of the Facebook Watch series hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith, her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and her daughter, Willow, opened with a title card signed by Jada, which acknowledged fallout from Will Smith’s slap of Chris Rock.
“Considering all that has happened in the last few weeks, the Smith family has been focused on deep healing,” the message reads. “Some of the discoveries around our healing will be shared at the table when the time calls. Until then the table will continue offering itself to powerful, inspiring and healing testimonies like that of our incredibly impressive first guest.”
The premiere episode, which was pretaped with guest Janelle Monáe, focused on the Grammy nominee’s journey to self-acceptance. Originally raised in a “super conservative Baptist” family in Kansas, Monáe said had fears about coming out publicly as nonbinary. But Monáe made sure that she had done the work on herself before disclosing her identity to the masses.
“Somebody said, ‘If you don’t work out the things that you need to work out first [with yourself] before you share it with the world, then you’ll be working it out with the world,” she explained on the show, adding, “That’s what I didn’t want to do.”
Monáe and Pinkett Smith bonded over feelings of abandonment they felt as children of parents who had struggled with addiction. At one point in her career, afraid that her success would disappear, Pinkett Smith said, “I actually started playing myself really small and started hiding behind being a mother.” She continued, “I had to confront all that, deal with it, heal it, slowly emerge in my more authentic self instead of trying to be something for everybody else. And it’s been a hell of a journey, but it is a treacherous thing to have to do publicly.”
It’s unclear when or if the Smiths will bring the Oscars slap controversy to the Red Table. According to Variety, this season’s lineup includes the first joint interview between Ireland Baldwin and her mother, Kim Basinger, and a conversation with former Vanity Fair staffer Rachel DeLoache Williams—who told of her experience with fake German heir Anna Sorokin (who operated under the name Anna Delvey) in an essay for V.F. and in her book. Smith siblings Willow, Jaden, and Trey are also set to host their first solo episode.
Pinkett Smith has acknowledged the Oscars slap, which got Smith banned from the Academy for a decade, only once before. Two days after the incident, she wrote on Instagram, “This is a season for healing and I’m here for it.”
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