Jada Pinkett’s mom Adrienne opens up about Olivia Jade interview on ‘Red Table Talk'
The Facebook Watch star, 67, joined the "Keep It" podcast and dished on her feelings about interviewing Jade Giannulli, 21, about her parents’ roles in the infamous college admissions scandal, admitting that she wasn’t completely in agreement with the show’s decision to interview the social media influencer.
"It was frustrating, but at the end of the day, I felt like people understood how I felt," Banfield-Norris told the program.
Banfield-Norris commended Jade Giannulli for "handling the situation well," but she said "there were some things" that she felt were a "little frustrating" on the part of young star.
"I felt like as a 21-year-old young adult, that she needed to be way more aware of what’s going on in the world, and that was a little frustrating," the nurse said. "I heard people make comments, like, 'Well, kids don’t watch the news.' Please. The news on TV is not the only place where you understand what’s going on with the world and if you think that then you’re old! Because young people are not relying on the news — my generation is not relying on the news. I'm on my phone, on social media all the time."
In fact, as far as Banfield-Norris is concerned, Jade could use wake-up call and she put on her motherly hat in order to dole out a bit of advice to Jade.
"There’s just a lot of education she needs to do for herself," she said. "But I understand that that’s the world they’re in. Her life experiences have not put her in the space where she needs to be concerned about those kinds of things, really. I don’t really know how to address that because it is about how you’re raised and what you’re exposed to."
Banfield-Norris hosts the uber-popular talk show with daughter Pinkett Smith and granddaughter Willow Smith – and added that she felt it odd that Jade Giannulli would choose their platform to address her white privilege in the wake of her parents Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli’s arrests and overlapping prison sentences.
Lori Loughlin reported to prison at FCI Dublin on Oct. 30 and is said to be released on Dec. 28, despite reports she could be out by Christmastime. Meanwhile, husband Mossimo Giannulli, right, reported for his stay at FCI Lompoc on Nov. 15 to serve out his five-month sentence and could be released in April 2021. (Getty)
Lori Loughlin and designer husband Mossimo Giannulli pleaded guilty to charges stemming from $500,000 payments to scam mastermind William "Rick" Singer to get their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli, recruited onto the University of Southern California's crew team. The two had never participated in the sport.
"I just found it really ironic that she chose three Black women to reach out to for her redemption story," Banfield-Norris said of the decision. "I feel like here we are, [a] white woman coming to Black women for support when we don't get the same from them."
Added Banfield-Norris: "Her being here is the epitome of white privilege to me."
The sentiment shared by Banfield-Norris was one echoed by many on social media, including branding and crisis expert, Eric Schiffer, who told Fox News immediately following Jade’s interview that joining "RTT" was a huge misstep.
"What she needed to be doing was to not appear on a show – she needed to be getting herself off of Instagram modeling shots and instead go out and help kids who can't get into college," she said. "Do the work, if you really care about these things and you want to show remorse, show it through action."
Banfield-Norris also didn’t mince words in her exchanges with Giannulli and came off as both compassionate and contrite in her admonishment of the actions Jade, her sister Isabella Rose, 22, and her parents took in the admissions scheme.
"Do you understand why different people in the community would be upset?" Banfield-Norris pressed to Olivia Jade. "Do you have any understanding of why I would be upset at you being here and what you all did and the harm that it caused?"
Jade replied: "I would also love to hear it from you. I feel like it’s a good learning thing. We had the means to do something and we completely took it and ran with it. It really cannot be excused, on paper it’s bad."
'Red Table Talk' co-host Adrienne Banfield-Norris said she was 'frustrated' with Olivia Jade's interview on the Facebook Watch show. (Getty)
Banfield-Norris expressed to Jade that she felt "exhausted" with the perils many face within the Black community and added: "I just don’t have the energy to put into the fact that you lost your endorsements or you’re not in school right now."
"Because at the end of the day, you’re going to be OK," she said. "Because your parents are going to go in and they’re going to do their 60 days and they’re going to pay their fine, and you guys are going to go on and be OK and you will live your life. And there’s so many of us that it’s not going to be that situation. It just makes it very difficult right now for me to care in this atmosphere that we’re in right now."
Loughlin reported to prison at FCI Dublin on Oct. 30 and is said to be released on Dec. 28, despite reports she could be out by Christmastime. Meanwhile, Giannulli reported for his stay at a federal prison in Lompoc, Calif. on Nov. 15 to serve out his five-month sentence and could be released in April 2021.
In their plea agreement, Giannulli agreed to serve five months and pay a $250,000 fine along with two years of supervised release and 250 hours of community service. Meanwhile, Loughlin got a lighter sentence, with a judge ruling for her to spend two months in prison, pay a $150,000 fine and commit to 100 hours of community service.