In its five seasons, Red Table Talk has been an open outlet for challenging dialogue and informative revelations between individuals at differing life stages. Through it's generational roundtable format, Jada Pinkett Smith, her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris and daughter Willow Smith have hosted thought leaders, community figures, celebrities and a multitude of others in necessary thought conversations.
Today, the widely admired series premiered it's new season, which airs in light of the controversial altercation in which Will Smith smacked Chris Rock at the 94th annual Academy Awards in defense of his wife after a joke was made in reference to her alopecia. Since the incident, Smith's actions have polarized various communities about what occurred that night. Smith has since apologized for his actions and accepted disciplinary action from the Academy.
Wanting to distinguish the series from the series of events that had taken place over the last few weeks, the episode began with an opening title that read:
“Considering all that has happened in the last few weeks, the Smith family has been focused on deep healing. 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 first guest of the season was singer-songwriter, activist and actress Janelle Monáe. Monáe, who recently released her new book The Memory Librarian: and Other Stories of Dirty Compute on April 19th, opened up to the trio about what she describes as "hidden struggles" and her journey toward her own autonomous healing. The "Electric Lady" also opened up about her fierce love and protection of the Black community and gender identity, after disclosing that she is nonbinary. “I feel all my energy. I feel like God is so much bigger than the he or the she. If I am from God, I am everything, but I will always stand with women. I will always stand with Black women.” Monáe was also later joined in the episode by her mother, Janet Hawthorne, continuing in the show's aim to hold space for intergenerational communication.
You can stream the latest episode of Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch.