Will Smith (l) Jada Pinkett Smith (r)

DFree/Shutterstock Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock (Licensed)

‘You can’t just use me’: Old Instagram Live clip with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith goes viral

The clip resurfaced because Jada appears to pressure Will to discuss their marriage on camera.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Apr 7, 2022   Updated on Apr 13, 2022, 1:41 pm CDT

With more scrutiny than ever aimed at Will Smith‘s personal life, an old clip from Jada Pinkett Smith’s Instagram has resurfaced—and it’s very awkward.

Reposted on Reddit, the clip shows Pinkett Smith promoting her Facebook talk show Red Table Talk and asking Will to comment on their relationship. “You know [psychotherapist] Esther Perel is coming to the Table,” she says. “Would you say she has been instrumental in you and I redefining our relationship?”

Avoiding the question, Will Smith makes it clear that she’s filming without his consent. “My social media presence is my bread and butter,” he replies. “You can’t just use me and not, you know… don’t just start rolling.” The clip ends with Pinkett Smith asking viewers to watch Esther Perel’s appearance on the Red Table, panning away from a miserable-looking Will Smith.

This conversation is intensely uncomfortable to watch, highlighting the double-edged sword of building a celebrity social media brand. For an A-list family, the Pinkett Smiths are unusually open about their personal lives online. That’s basically the entire premise of Red Table Talk.

But by exposing their emotional conflicts to the world, Will and Jada essentially invited people to analyze and criticize their relationship. The clip’s Reddit comments are full of vitriol aimed at Jada Pinkett Smith, accusing her of abusive or controlling behavior. In turn, this ties in with long-running—often misogynistic—conspiracy theories about the power dynamics in Will and Jada’s marriage, something that inevitably gained more traction after the Oscars scandal.

As always though, there’s only so much you can glean from a one-minute clip. Jada Pinkett Smith certainly doesn’t come across well here, but this is just a brief moment from their lives together, going viral because commenters are interpreting it through the lens of their own opinions.

Share this article
*First Published: Apr 7, 2022, 10:18 am CDT