An old clip from one of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Instagram Lives where she seems to pressure Will Smith to discuss their marriage has gone viral recently.
The video from 2019 was posted to Reddit and shows Pinkett Smith promoting her Red Table Talk Facebook talk show. It starts with Pinkett Smith’s camera filming Smith, who looks like a deer in headlights as his wife asks if he thinks the psychotherapist Esther Perel has helped them get their marriage back on track.
“You know [psychotherapist] Esther Perel is coming to the Table,” Pinkett Smith says in the video. “Would you say she has been instrumental in you and I redefining our relationship?”
Smith, however, is clearly unhappy in the video, and after a pause, he tells her, “Don’t just start filming me without asking me.”
Pinkett Smith can be heard behind the camera muttering, “Oh my goodness.” She goes on, turning the camera to face her, and says, “Esther, come help us again please. I’m still dealing with foolishness.”
“No, no, don’t. […] My social media presence is my bread and butter, okay? So you can’t just use me for social media and not, you know… don’t just start rolling. I’m standing in my house.”
Pinkett Smith ends the video asking people watching to join them for Esther Perel’s appearance on the Red Table, saying, “She’s helped us a lot, can’t you tell?” which some Reddit users called a “knife twist.”
Overall, the conversation in the short video is very uncomfortable, and it’s easy to feel the tension coming off of Will Smith at being filmed without his consent. In general, the Smith family has been very open about their personal lives online, but the downside of being so open is that everyday people feel like they have a right to know everything about them and criticize them as well.
Reddit users’ reactions to the video are largely negative about Pinkett Smith herself, calling her “abusive” and “controlling.”
One user said, “It’s like he’s responding to a weird fan harassing him. It’s so uncomfortable to watch.”
Another mentioned Smith going to therapy to improve his own mental health and learning to say no when he is uncomfortable with a situation. “After they separated he went to therapy and worked on learning to set boundaries instead of people pleasing. You can tell it’s not easy for him but he’s trying.”
A third user noted, “If she was brazen enough to call his level-headed response ‘foolishness’, I can only cringe at what she said when after she stopped recording.”
That being said, it is hard to read the situation in the one-minute video, presented without context.
It certainly doesn’t look pretty for Pinkett Smith’s character. Folks are quick to judge and come to their own conclusions from a brief interaction, especially in the aftermath of the Oscars slap.