Jada Pinkett Smith is giving the spotlight to members of the alopecia community, after Chris Rock made a joke about her baldness at the 2022 Oscars and Will Smith proceeded to slap the comedian in the face.
Jada began Wednesday’s new “Red Table Talk” episode titled “Alopecia: The Devastating Impact,” by touching on the infamous Oscar slap incident, expressing that she hopes her husband and Rock heal, talk and reconcile.
“Considering what I’ve been through with my own health and what happened at the Oscars, thousands have reached out to me with their stories,” Jada began. “I’m using this moment to give our alopecia family an opportunity to talk about what it’s like to have this condition and to inform people about what alopecia actually is.”
She continued, “Now about Oscar night, my deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out and reconcile.”
“The state of the world today, we need them both, and we all actually need one another more than ever,” the actor continued. “Until then, Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years, and that’s keep figuring out this thing called life together. Thank you for listening.”
Alopecia is a condition that causes hair loss on your scalp or entire body, per Mayo Clinic. It can be temporary or permanent, and a “result of heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions or a normal part of aging.”
There is also alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune disease. Top hair surgeon Dr. Meena Singh, who was a guest on the episode, described it as rapid hair loss with circular bald patches that can also affect the eyelashes and eyebrows.
During the March 27 Academy Awards when Rock was presenting an award, the comedian joked that he couldn't wait to see Jada in a sequel for “G.I. Jane.” Demi Moore famously shaved her head when starting in the 1997 film.
Will then walked onstage and slapped Rock across the face. After taking his seat, he yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out your f---ing mouth.”
Will would go on to issue multiple apologies, including one to Rock for his behavior, and resign from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The board of governors banned the former“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star from attending the Academy Awards — and any academy-related events and programs — for the next 10 years.
“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” the actor said in a short statement to NBC News following the board’s decision.
Earlier this month, Rock joked about the incident during a show at London’s Royal Albert Hall. “I got most of my hearing back,” he quipped, adding that he was “OK, if anybody was wondering.”“Red Table Talk” returned for its fifth season in April, weeks after the incident. The first episode began with a written message addressing the controversy and noting that the family was “healing” and they would share more “at the table when the time calls.”
Meanwhile in Wednesday's new episode, Jada explained how “146 million are living with alopecia, including me.”
Jada, alongside daughter Willow and mother Adrienne “Gammy” Banfield-Norris, touched on the “shame” of going bald and not having a choice. She shared that the hardest part for her is that her condition comes and goes. Jada added that people don’t understand what alopecia is and the effects of it.
The ladies also had an emotional talk with the mother of 12-year-old Rio Allred, who suffered from alopecia and took her own life after being bullied for her condition. They also chatted with former NBA player Charlie Villanueva, a woman who worked in the hair industry for more than a decade and Dr. Singh, who gave more insight on alopecia.
The full episode is now live on Facebook Watch.