I know I’m late on watching Olivia Jade’s Red Table Talk but as a Black woman, I’ve been very intentional on what I’m consuming as it pertains to racism and privilege. But with the holidays in full swing and a much needed break from my day job, I watched it. Well, watched some of it – 13 minutes and 11 seconds (of 30 minutes and 12 seconds) were all I could stomach.
Red Table Talk is a show with Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Jones. The three woman discuss hot topics very openly and are not afraid to share their point of views, as harsh as they may be. Olivia Jade, the popular 21-year-old beauty influencer and daughter of Full House actress Lori Loughlin and designer Mossimo Giannulli, came on the show to break her silence on the college admissions scandal that landed her famous parents in prison. To refresh your memory: Jade’s parents bribed USC admissions representatives to get into school. To make matters worse, Olivia was the second child they did this for. Her parents were sentenced to 2 months in prison, 100 hours of community service and $150,000 in fines.
Jade, ready to speak and be “understood,” opted for the Red Table Talk show. Black women are often tasked to be a safe and honest space. And Olivia Jade knowingly took advantage of that when she said, “I wanted to be somewhere where I didn’t feel attacked, and maybe I could feel more understood,” when Jada asked her why Red Table Talk. Don’t you think Black women have dealt with enough in 2020? We lost Kobe Bryant, Breonna Taylor, Chadwick Boseman, George Floyd, and countless others. And now with that pain and trauma, we are meant to uplift and support whiteness. Touché, Miss. Jade.
I’m not buying the fact that she wasn’t aware her parents paid for her to get into USC. In fact, multiple times she states it, “didn’t feel wrong when it first happened. Everyone did that.” And now she wants to right her wrongs and be given a second chance. In my opinion, the second chance is in vain because had she not lost her multiple brand-partnership deals, thousands of followers and backlash, she would have never thought bribing someone was wrong. I would feel differently had Jade showed any signs of remorse – her answers appeared too cookie-cutter and seen as a marketing tactic to let the world know she is aware and ready to accept the consequences.
My sentiments for the 13 minutes and 11 seconds that I watched and for this level of whiteness can be summed up by Banfield-Jones’s sentiments, “There is so much violent dehumanization that the Black community has to go through on a daily basis. There is so much devastation, particularly this year with the pandemic, and everything being brought to the table. Just how there’s so much inequality and inequity, that when you come to the table with something like this, it’s like, “Child, please.” I’m exhausted. I’m exhausted with everything we have to deal with as a community, and I just don’t have the energy to put into the fact that you lost your endorsements!”
Photo via Red Table Talk