In Defense Of Jada Pinkett Smith

Hollywood's elite cackled like a group of mean girls at Jada's expense. Here's why they're wrong.

Ask any horror fan about Scream 2 and they’ll tell you that one of the most visceral and lasting moments, seared into their minds forever, was when Jada Pinkett Smith was stabbed to death in a movie theater by Ghostface, the masked killer of the Scream franchise. Ask anyone who grew up black in the ’90s and they’ll remember when Jada slid on a mask to “set it off” with her compatriots Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, and Kimberly Elise. Jada had top billing in both of those movies. She is a film actress. Last night, however, a room full of Jada Pinkett Smith’s peers laughed together at a joke about how she “wasn’t invited” to the Oscars, as though she wasn’t worthy of being there.

Maybe Chris Rock wanted to punish Jada for speaking out about boycotting the Oscars, which many believe she only did because her husband Will was not nominated for Concussion. And maybe that was the case; we often don’t take up causes until they personally affect us. How many parents speak about not accepting gay people until they discover their own children are? How many people confront their past racism after finally becoming friends with people of color? Which is to say that it’s possible Jada took a stand because she loves her husband, and his exclusion from this year’s nominations was the final straw for her. If that’s the case … who cares? The why of her cause doesn’t make what she said any less important.

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