All Articles Tagged "jada pinkett"

Why The 2016 Academy Awards Might Be The Most Controversial One Yet

January 19th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Image Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

As the #OscarsSoWhite tweets come pouring in, once again, the 2016 Oscars seems to be under fire more than ever before. But between the Academy president’s apology and the actors boycotting, here’s why the 2016 Academy Awards might be the most important Oscars yet. Will you be tuning in?

ABC Commits To Pilot Starring Jada Pinkett Smith, “Murder Town”

November 10th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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ABC Commits To Pilot Starring Jada Pinektt Smith, "Murder Town"

Splash News

It looks like Jada may has a new job, y’all.

According to Deadline, ABC has committed to a pilot starring and executive produced by Jada Pinkett Smith. The series titled “Murder Town” will center around Wilmington, Delaware’s first Black District Attorney. Pinkett’s character will be forced to take on a high-profile, racially charged case while dealing with a shocking revelation about her murdered husband.

The script was written by showrunner Barry Schindel based on an original script by Rob Fresco. Schindel will executive produce the series alongside Pinkett, and Miguel Melenzdez for Overbrook Entertainment and A+E Studios.

Since ABC has already committed to the pilot, they’ll likely be hit with a fine in the event that “Murder Town” is not picked up as a series.


Will And Jada Cleared In Child Protective Services Investigation

June 16th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Great news for the Smith family!

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s case with the Los Angeles Department of Child Protective Services has been cleared. As you may recall, the couple was under investigation after a controversial photo of their 13-year-old daughter, Willow, in bed with 20-year-old actor Moises Arias surfaced on the Internet. The photograph attracted attention from countless media outlets and social media users, who expressed that it was highly inappropriate for the Smiths to allow their young daughter to be in bed with a shirtless 20-year-old. And eventually, the photo caught the attention of the folks over at Child Protective Services.

Sources tell Radar Online that the couple was cleared after investigators looked into the case, closely examined evidence and spoke with parties involved in the photo incident.

[Investigators found] “no evidence presented that Willow has ever been in any danger around Moises, or that she has ever been physically or emotionally abused,” the source said.

The source also added that caseworkers found Willow to be “a very well-adjusted, smart, and articulate young lady.” Will and Jada have yet to publicly comment on the investigation, but Jada did lash out at critics who had negative things to say about the image.

“Here’s the deal. There was nothing sexual about that picture or that situation,” Jada told TMZ. “You guys are projecting your trash onto it. And you’re acting like covert pedophiles, and that’s not cool.”

We’re sure they’re happy to put all of this behind them.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise


Is It Me Or Is Something “Off” With Will And Jada’s Parenting?

June 1st, 2014 - By Toya Sharee
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Will and Jada's parenting


When I think about my future children I picture open-minded mini-me’s who aren’t afraid to look at life differently and question everything that’s presented to them.  They’ll defeat gender stereotypes, read the writings of Kahlil Gibran and maybe even write music or learn how to play an instrument unlike myself who gave up on anything that closely resembled math. We’ll talk about sex and intimacy openly and I’ll encourage them to be individuals.

So when I see the public criticize Will and Jada Smith’s liberal approach to parenting now teenagers Willow and Jaden, I almost want to jump to their defense and encourage parents everywhere to loosen up and consider more progressive parenting styles.  But how far is too far?

I believe parents have the very challenging responsibility of preserving their children’s childhood without sheltering them or blatantly lying to them about the real world. I’m torn because I don’t see myself talking about storks when my children ask how babies are made and I want them to know full and well that when it comes to Christmas they don’t have to impress some stranger in a red suit with good behavior, they have to impress me.  But at the same time, that world of fantasy and make believe is essentially what childhood is all about.  Children have their whole lives to worry about their appearance, following rules and thinking about the world critically, but only a very short time to think every noise on the roof on December 24th could be reindeer or that the pain of losing a tooth directly equals payment from a fairy.

It’s no secret that Willow and Jaden Smith are edgier and seemingly more confident than most adults.  My mom wouldn’t let me perm my own hair until I was 15 or 16, and at 12 Willow completely shaved her’s off.  Parents everywhere weren’t in agreement with what seemed like a such a mature move and it was one of the first time’s Jada’s parenting skills were the subject of any backlash.  But her response in many ways made sense:

“The question why I would let Willow cut her hair, first the ‘let’ must be challenged. This is a world where women [and] girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves — that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self-determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are her domain.”

Her husband, actor Will Smith was in agreement stating to Parade magazine shortly after:

“When you have a little girl, it’s like how can you teach her that you’re in control of her body? She can’t cut my hair but that’s her hair. She has got to have command of her body.”

I’m all for empowering your children to advocate and think for themselves, but I think a parent’s first responsibility should be to protect their children.  The truth is as parents, we’ve been around a lot longer than our children and we owe it to them to show them how the world works first, before we encourage them to challenge it.

Which is why I worry when I see Jaden Smith hopping around in Kimye’s wedding pictures in a Batman suit and Willow Smith getting her model on in bed with a grown man.  I think the Smiths are far from a call to child services, but I can see how their permissive parenting can be translated into lazy parenting.  The Smith children seem to be making up the rules as they go along instead of learning the ones that have been set first.  There seems to be desperation to be so edgy and different that it almost appears to me they’re losing themselves in the process.  The good news is that money and fame will protect them, but for how long? I fear eventually they’ll crumble under this pressure to make a name for themselves in the world of Hollywood if there isn’t a solid foundation provided for them that they don’t have to be edgy or quirky, they just have to be themselves.

When Willow Smith posted a picture of herself on social media lying in bed with a 21 year-old actor, I didn’t jump to the conclusion that she was being sexually abused or that the Smiths were allowing their children to run wild and free in Hollywood, but I did question how the children’s values are being shaped for them to think certain behaviors are acceptable. For example, I’m all about letting kids express themselves creatively and dress themselves even if it means they want to wear a ballerina tutu and a tank top.  But as a parent if it’s 32 degrees outside, it’s your job to say, “I love that outfit, but how about we pick out something that will keep you warm today.”  And that’s what falls short about the Smith family to me: Their kids are wearing tutus and tank tops, weather be damned and I’m not sure if Will and Jada are letting them know they’re going to freeze their behinds off.

There’s more than one way to be a good parent and raise a healthy child and I have no doubt that the Smiths have the best intentions for their children. But at the end of the day they are children, and the world is forgetting that because of all of the premature freedom they seem to have been afforded. Children should have choices, but those choices have to be based on a frame of reference to judge it from which is provided by the parents. So maybe I couldn’t perm my head when I wanted to at 12, but I also know a lot of 12 year-olds who spent their teenage years baldheaded because they didn’t have a mom to be honest with them about not being ready for that. And that’s a parents job, to let your children have choices but educate them about the implications of their choices and having the foresight to keep them from choices they aren’t ready to make.

Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a  passion for helping  young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health.  She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about  everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “The Nutty Professor”

February 17th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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nutty professor feat

If you ask some folk, mainly white folk, Eddie Murphy’s star had dimmed by the early to mid ’90’s. Folks weren’t feeling Beverly Hills Cop III, they thought Harlem NightsEddie’s directorial debut was narcissistic and there were some who even took issue with Coming to America, when we all know it was, and still is, a classic. But The Nutty Professor was too good to deny and folks started calling it his comeback role. While I would argue, Eddie never left, get into some of the behind the scenes secrets from The Nutty Professor. 

Jada Pinkett Asks Why Heterosexual Women Are Choosing To Be With Other Women As A Last Resort?

March 8th, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

I wonder if Jada Pinkett knew the firestorm she was going to set off when she posted a rather interesting and controversial question (along with the image above) on her Facebook page earlier this week. Concerned about the state of relationships between men and women, and about the intimacy choices of a few women around her, Jada questioned why women are seemingly choosing to be with women romantically in response to negative experiences with men. Rather than editorialize and run the risk of misconstruing whatever insight she was trying to gain, let me simply  lay her question out the same way she did.

Before I begin…I want to make one thing clear. It’s important that you know that I believe love comes in ALL forms. I believe a person should love WHOMEVER…HOWEVER they choose. But…I do have a question.

In the last month, three women, in their 40s, coming out of long term relationships with men have confided in me that they now feel that their last resort for companionship is that with a woman. These are women who have never engaged in or even desired to be in intimate relationships with other women. Now these women feel as though they have no other option. It seems as if there is a spike in same sex love all around. What is changing in which how men and women are relating to one another, that is creating same sex love as a LAST RESORT for heterosexual women?


Well, what do you think? And have you noticed this “trend”?

‘How About I Just Be 12?’ Daddy Will Reveals Why Willow Smith Pulled Out Of ‘Annie’ Production

February 4th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Will & Willow Smith, WENN


Many were thrilled to learn that the young and talented Willow Smith would be starring in the Jay-Z affiliated Annie remake. Unfortunately, that won’t be happening. Last week, news broke that the youngest Smith child would no longer be starring in the production due to the Sony Pictures believing that she had “outgrown” the part and was now too old to play a nine-year-old Annie. Will Smith, however had a fairly different story as to why his baby girl pulled out of the remake, reports Necole Bitchie. Check out what he had to say.

“In the past 18 months,  I have spent a lot of time focusing on the emotional aspect of my life and my family. In 2010, in one year, our family had the ‘Karate Kid.’ we had ‘Whip my Hair,’ we had Hawthorne, and at the end of the year, we did the Nobel Concert when Barack Obama won his Nobel Peace Prize. Don’t be clapping yet, that wears you out. The thing that had become very clear to me is the danger of a material world and focusing so hard on coming up with money or a house or a job. You focus so hard on those things, and sometimes you can lose focus on why you are doing it in the first place. The only reason to do any of that is to have love,” he expressed.

It seems that Willow needed a break from show biz.

“Willow was supposed to be doing ‘Annie,’ we got Jay-Z to do the movie, got the studio to come in and Willow had such a difficult time on tour with ‘Whip my Hair’ and she said, ‘You know Daddy, I don’t think so’ and I said, ‘Baby, hold up! I said no,no,no, listen, you’ll be in New York with all of your friends and Beyoncé will be there. You will be singing and dancing,’ and she looked at me and said, ‘Daddy, I have a better idea, how about I just be 12.’”

“I’m really learning through Willow the necessity that we have to snap ourselves back and refocus on the emotional needs of the people that we love. Someone’s emotional needs can be very very different from your dreams and what you think they should be doing and where they are supposed to be.”

Since the success of “Whip My Hair”, Willow was certainly pushed into the spotlight and one can only imagine how much pressure that could be on a 12-year-old. It seems that she has made a wise decision.

What do you think of Willow’s decision to pull out?

Photo courtesy of WENN

Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “Jason’s Lyric”

December 17th, 2012 - By Veronica Wells
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At the core, Jason’s Lyric is a love story, at least three to four times over. There’s the dysfunctional type of love between Joshua and Jason’s parents, that starts all of the drama in the first place. There’s the familial love that keep Jason in Houston for so long, defending, rationalizing and protecting his brother and then there’s the love story between Lyric and Jason, who have to figure out a way to escape their toxic surroundings if they want their relationship to work. You know the movie, you remember that one scene…you know what I’m talking about. You might even have memorized some of the lines but you probably don’t know the behind the scenes secrets. Check them out below.

That Might Be The Problem: Jada Pinkett Says She’s Her Kids’ Partner Not Their Parent

October 31st, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: WENN

Will and Jada have been getting the side-eye for their parenting style ever since their daughter Willow went from whipping her hair back and forth to rocking technicolor low-cut fades every other week and posing next to stripper poles. Both parents have spoken out numerous times about their take on self-expression and what they do and don’t allow their kids to participate in, but I think Jada Pinkett just provided the last piece of the puzzle regarding her approach to raising two pre-teens.

PEOPLE caught up with Jada at a Yes to Prop 35 event hosted by The Moms Monday afternoon and there Jada presented this take on motherhood:

“I think that old school style of ‘I’m your parent and I’m greater than you’ doesn’t work. What I establish with my children is a partnership. I’m not necessarily dictating what is happening in their lives.”

A lot of parents would likely disagree with that approach, especially when we’re talking about a 14-year-old boy (Jaden) and a 12-year-old girl (Willow). I wouldn’t say most mothers and fathers completely dictate their children’s lives but they do set age-appropriate parameters, which in this case most of the general public believes Willow and Jaden are lacking. In my mind, being a parent as opposed to a partner doesn’t mean I’m greater than you, it means I’m older and I know a little bit more to guide you through life and help you make good decisions. Jada, on the other hand, thinks approaching her kids as peers increases the likelihood that they will listen.

By “instilling in [Willow] the power for individuality, we … communicate with our kids in a way that our message overpowers any other message that they get out there.”

In the same token, they don’t limit the information their kids come across, even when it includes rumors and gossip about their family.

“We can’t control what our kids learn anymore. We have to inform them and have real conversations … and [create] that foundation of them feeling assured in themselves.”

“I think for our children … they feel like we really care and they come to us and go, ‘Mommy, I’m having this problem,’ and it’s like, ‘Okay, let’s figure this out together.’ And it empowers them.”

We Love You Essence, But We’re Going To Need You To Get Some New Cover Subjects

October 2nd, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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I truly believe in my heart of hearts that in the world according to Essence, there are only 12 black celebrities: Beyonce, Jill Scott, Jada Pinkett, Queen Latifah, Taraji P. Henson, Kerry Washington, Nia Long, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Michelle Obama, Gabrielle Union, and their November cover subject, Tyler Perry. We love these ladies, especially Mrs. O, and they are all amazing in their own right but damn it they are NOT the only black folks doing things in the entertainment industry and Essence of all people should know this.

Last month, I suggested we start a bet in the office on who would have next on the magazine’s cover because after I saw Jill Scott grace the October issue, I knew guessing the probability of the magazine using one of its tried and true go-tos was about as high as a professional basketball player cheating on his wife with a video chick. And sure enough, there was Tyler Perry in all his golden purple joy plastered on the glossy for the fourth time since 2007—nearly once every year.

I know the good folks over at Essence are smart, so it’s not as though they don’t know that they’ve recycled the same people over, and over, and over again. I think they fail to realize that we peeped game too – or they just assume we love these people so much we don’t care. That’s the only logical conclusion I can draw, based solely on the annual cover repeats, and the fact that when Mary J. Blige was the guest editor for the June issue, they boasted that this was her twelfth time on the cover – as if that was a good thing. I’m sure Mary doesn’t mind, but the readers that are still hanging on? Trust me, they care.

The problem is simple, Essence is the only magazine specifically for black women. If anyone should be constantly reinventing themselves – and their covers –it should be them. Why is a magazine for black women acting as though there are only a handful of us to choose from? Yes, I’m sure they’ve done all sorts of studies on who sells magazine covers, which is probably why they keep serving up the same best sellers, but would it kill them to take a risk – that wouldn’t really be a risk at all?

Let’s think about this year’s Summer Olympics, black women were the London Games. Did Serena have a cover, what about the US track team – hello Sanya Richards-Ross, heck even Lolo Jones, and regardless of her being 16 years old, there isn’t one person on this earth who would say they’ve had enough of Gabby Douglas. Essence had a huge opportunity with those ladies, but who did we get this summer instead? Mary, Obama, Nia, and Jada. Anyone else hear the Four Tops singing “it’s the Same Old Song” in their head?

At the height of Gabourey Sidibe’s “Precious” hype, it’s amazing that Elle put the actress on the cover, rather than Essence. I’m curious if the magazine got the memo that Janelle Monae is the hotness right now, not to mention a Cover Girl. The Braxtons? Solange? Ri-freaking-Hanna? These are women who are high in demand right now. Yes, Rih Rih is a bit of a wild child but if Oprah can have a sit down with her, I’m sure Essence could tailor their talk to something their readers would care about. The question is do they care about what their readers care about?

We know why everyone went bananas over Viola Davis’ November 2011 cover, she was the first new face in a hot, long minute. And when they followed that up with Tasha Smith in December I just knew someone over there had had their Eureka moment. For a brief second I thought, yes, they finally get it! They found out that more than 12-15 black people are doing big things. And then January 2012 issue came out. And I saw Queen Latifah in a red onesie. And the cycle continued.

In Essence’s defense, they’re probably a little nervous to think too far outside the box anymore, considering the two times they tried people had a full-blown fit. Remember the Diddy-Kim Porter catastrophe? Reggie Bush backlash anybody? Granted these weren’t the best choices, but that did mark the beginning and the end of Essence’s let’s be creative era.

Many have come to the conclusion that the magazine wants to play it safe and cater to a demographic that clearly is much older than the 18-34-year-old crowd. And that’s all good and well, except if that’s true, then why post pictures and videos of women like Evelyn Lozada on the website? The disconnect is alarming. I’d love to go back to being a faithful Essence reader but looking at the covers, I can only assume the content inside is just as predictable as the faces on the outside. At this point all I can suggest is Time Warner steal Desiree Rogers and let her bring the magazine (and its website) back to life just like she did Ebony.

What’s your take on Essence? Who do you think they’re sleeping on for cover choices?

Brande Victorian is the news and operations editor for Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.

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