There’s a famous holiday song called “We Three Kings,” but three queens are featured on Harper’s Bazaar’s first digital cover, namely, Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris, the three generations represented on the hit Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk.
In fact, to say their series is a hit is a bit of an understatement. Now in its second season since premiering in May 2018, Red Table Talk has provided an open forum for a number of issues, including marriage, sexuality, substance abuse, and even vaginal rejuvenation. It’s also marked a career turning point for actress Pinkett Smith and, to a certain extent, daughter Willow. It has provided an entirely new career for mother Adrienne, better known to followers of the show as “Gam.”
“It’s not so much her being in the spotlight, but just like, she’s 65 ... she’s taking on a whole new career,” Jada explains to Harper’s Bazaar. “As a woman, it’s such an amazing story, because women feel like as they get older their lives are over. It’s not. It’s never over. I don’t care how old you think you’re getting. My mother is 65 and her first freaking photoshoot is freaking Harper’s Bazaar!” Willow co-signs, saying, “She’s just giving it. I just love seeing her explore that side of herself.”
The three generations are ideal foils for each other around the ubiquitous red table: 47-year-old Jada playing the real-talking, uber-revealing moderator, bohemian Willow, only 18, waxing poetic, with mother Adrienne grounding the often ethereal energy with well-earned pragmatism.
The age issue isn’t only applicable to Banfield-Norris. While still acting in hits (Girls Trip, anyone?), Pinkett Smith is well aware that her ingenue days are far behind her.
“I’m in my late 40's,” she tells the magazine. “This is the time that they send you out to pasture ... Don’t let people tell you that you’re too old. That it’s over, ‘cause that’s a lie.”
It’s that type of inspirational messaging that is part of Red Table Talk’s mass appeal—they’re now popular enough to spawn viral parodies. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they’re co-helmed by a veteran of the Oprah show, but Pinkett Smith believes it’s their relatability that’s at the heart of the series’ success.
“I tell people, ‘It’s not us. You’re ecstatic because we’re just helping you reach what you are. That’s what you’re happy about,’” Jada notes. “That’s what we’re supposed to do for each other—to see each other’s life.”