Will Smith’s Oscars slap: Is there an impact on Jada Pinkett Smith’s brand? Experts weigh in

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Jada Pinkett Smith seems to be distancing herself from the infamous Oscars slap, and brand experts tell Fox News Digital it might be a wise move.

Pinkett Smith and husband Will Smith made headlines after Will slapped Chris Rock in the face over a joke Rock told while presenting an award at the 94th annual Academy Awards.

Kelcey Kintner, senior vice president of Red Banyan PR, told Fox News Digital that Pinkett Smith shouldn’t bring the Oscars conversation to her show “Red Table Talk” just yet in order to keep a lid on news coverage.


“Jada has expressed on Instagram that she is here for a season of healing and that is a simple yet positive, high-road message. For now, I would advise Jada lay low while the academy considers disciplinary action against her husband,” Kintner explained to Fox News Digital.

Brand experts told Fox News Digital it’s best for Jada Pinkett Smith not to bring Oscars slap conversation to the "Red Table" just yet.
(Rich Fury/VF22/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

“This story is still ongoing and bringing this to ‘Red Table Talk’ right now will only spark a slew of more coverage worldwide.”


Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants and a leading brand expert, echoed Kinter’s thoughts to Fox News Digital, adding it “hurts Jada to be in the line of fire of her husband’s Oscar slap and the avalanche of shame and toxic-level fallout it’s caused, which threatens her career opportunities and advertiser relationships for Red Table Talk.”

Pinkett Smith notoriously discusses hot topics on her Facebook show “Red Table Talk.” The actress even had Smith on her show to discuss their marriage and the allegations that she had a relationship with rapper August Alsina.

“This story is still ongoing and bringing this to ‘Red Table Talk’ right now will only spark a slew of more coverage worldwide.”

Alsina has found himself back in the headlines after the Oscars slap and recently addressed reports that suggested he is planning a tell-all about his relationship with Smith’s wife.

Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock

“What would be the need to write a book about my supposed ‘sex life’ with ANYBODY, EVER, in life?” Alsina wrote in a text message shared to his Instagram account dismissing the reports. 

For Pinkett Smith’s part, she has remained publicly silent about the Oscars slap despite her willingness in the past to openly discuss difficult topics.

On Thursday, a 2019 clip from one of Pinkett Smith’s past Instagram Live videos was posted to Reddit showing the “King Richard” star growing frustrated with his wife when she brings up the couple’s past marital struggles. 

The video has racked up thousands of comments from Reddit users. Many accuse Pinkett Smith of not respecting Smith’s boundaries.

Smith resigned from the academy, days after issuing a public apology to Rock via Instagram. After holding a board of governors meeting Friday, the academy decided that Smith will be prohibited from the Oscars and all other academy events for 10 years.

Pinkett Smith’s "Red Table Talk" show discusses difficult topics and encourages "healing."
(Getty Images)


Experts still think it’s likely the world will hear the Oscars moment retold from Pinkett Smith’s side eventually on “Red Table Talk.”

“Jada will certainly have the opportunity to address this once the story has calmed a bit and she has had more time to process what has happened. It’s hard to see the full picture when you’re in the middle of it,” Kintner further explained.

Schiffer noted that “Jada gained massive global attention. So if she can appropriately further distance herself from Will’s behavior, but not her relationship with him, she inoculates her brand against serious threats.” 

In his estimation, Schiffer also believes the couple might turn to Oprah Winfrey to discuss the incident in an effort “to help rehab the dumpster fire of Smith’s self-inflicted celebrity brand wounds.”

Kinter explained that the Oscars slap also gives Pinkett Smith an opportunity and a bigger platform to discuss her struggles with alopecia.

“On the upside, this controversy has educated so many people about the very real condition and struggles of alopecia. And moving forward, she can use her platform to enlighten the public further. Not as a way to distract from her husband’s actions but rather utilizing the intense media focus on this incident in a positive way,” the crisis PR VP said.

Pinkett Smith’s only public post since the fateful Oscars night was a cryptic message shared to Instagram.

“This is a season for healing, and I’m here for it,” the message, posted two days after the Oscars slap, said.

However, she has since made her first public appearance. Pinkett Smith attended the grand opening of the Shonda Rhimes Performing Arts Center on Saturday. Pinkett Smith was all smiles on the red carpet and was seen in a strapless, gold dress, with matching earrings and heels.

Pinkett Smith and Will Smith made headlines after the Oscars when Will slapped Chris Rock in the face onstage. Rock had made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s bald head.
(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Smith slapping Rock left Oscars viewers stunned. Rock had joked he can’t wait to see Pinkett Smith in “G.I. Jane 2.” The actress has been struggling with alopecia and has spoken about the condition publicly.

“Oh wow, Will Smith just smacked the s— out of me,” Rock said after the slap.

“Leave my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth,” Smith yelled back in response.

Rock addressed the slap during his first stand-up show the week after the Oscars but noted he’s still “kind of processing” what went down.

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