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YouTuber Olivia Jade is breaking her silence in regard to the controversial admissions scandal that her mother, Lori Loughlin, and several other affluent parents were a part of. Since the scandal happened back in March of 2019, Jade has been especially silent in response, most likely due to legal reasons and her parents’ ongoing part in the scandal (via Glamour). Jade even completely stopped all uploads on her YouTube channel. But as of today, she is breaking that silence on national TV, via Red Table Talk.
RTT is a web series that features three generations of women, including Jada Pinkett-Smith, her daughter Willow, and her mother Adrienna Banfield-Norris, discussing pop culture events through the lenses of three black women from different generations. While the family is no stranger to tension, often discussing provocative and controversial topics, Jade making an appearance on their show caused a very obvious rift between the three women (via Facebook).
Banfield-Norris fought her co-hosts on whether or not to give Jade this platform
“I fought it tooth and nail,” said Banfield-Norris in regard to allowing Jade onto the show. Of the three, Banfield-Norris is the one that was vehemently against this decision. “I just found it really ironic that she chose three black women to reach out to for her redemption story.” She added, “I feel like, here we are, white women coming to black women for support when we don’t get the same from them. It’s bothersome to me on so many levels. Her being here, to me, is the epitome of white privilege” (via Hollywood Reporter).
But Pinkett-Smith was the deciding factor, saying that she believes that Jade has the right to speak for herself and that she is separate from the decisions of her parents. “This is a practice of compassion,” the star said. “To me, this young girl is reaping the repercussions of some actions of her parents.” Pinkett-Smith said that her story reminded her of her own children, and confesses that she, too, has made decisions on behalf of her children that weren’t necessarily good for them. “We’re gonna get heat,” she added. But despite the negativity she feels is inevitable as a result of the decision to allow Jade onto the show, she thinks it’s the right thing to do.
Banfield-Norris says that 2020 simply isn't the year for her to feel compassion for girls like Jade
Jade spends the majority of her interview explaining her place in this entire controversy, and attempts to make sense of why her parents did what they did. About halfway through the interview, Pinkett Smith opens the floor up to her mother, Banfield-Norris, and essentially asks her to address the elephant in the room that is her not wanting Jade here.
“There is so much violent dehumanization that the black community has to go through on a daily basis… There’s so much inequality and inequity that when you come to the table with something like this, it’s like ‘child please.’ I am exhausted with everything we have had to deal with as a community and I just don’t have the energy to put into the fact that you lost your endorsements… because at the end of the day, you’re going to be okay… it just makes it very difficult right now for me to care” (via Washington Post).
Jade makes a clear display of recognition towards her race and manages to connect with the group — Banfield-Norris, included — on a deeper level
In response? Jade doesn’t say much except for the occasional agreeing and head nodding. She appears to be taking in what is being said to her, and doing her best not to misspeak. She eventually says, “I didn’t come on here to try and win people over… I just want to apologize for contributing to these social inequalities even though I didn’t really realize it at the time.” The group seems to be proud of her acknowledgment and recognition of her privilege. While Banfield-Norris was quite hard on the young star, she did seem to extend out an olive branch more and more when she could tell that Jade was listening and learning.
Banfield-Norris said, “What I am hearing from you is that there is an interest and a desire to learn and figure out where you fit in the world and what your role is in trying to make a difference.”
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