Jada Pinkett Smith is getting praise from social media users for her display of empathy and sisterhood to Jordyn Woods, the 21-year-old at the center of the latest Khloe Kardashian-Tristan Thompson cheating scandal.
The highly anticipated segment followed weeks of online speculation and rumors that in February, Thompson had cheated on Kardashian with Woods ― who is also best friends with Kardashian’s younger sister Kylie Jenner.
Woods, a model and clothing entrepreneur, visited “Red Table Talk” for an opportunity to address the speculation, as well as the weeks of cyberbullying and threats she’s received since news of the rumors broke.
During the conversation, Woods shared her side of the story of what happened the night she encountered Thompson.
Woods denied rumors that she gave the 27-year-old Cleveland Cavaliers player “a lap dance,” or that they were “making out.” But the 21-year-old told Pinkett Smith that Thompson had kissed her, and that she took “full responsibility” for her role. (Watch the full interview here.)
But perhaps one of the more striking parts of the episode came when both Woods and Pinkett Smith acknowledged some of the difficulties many black women face.
Woods pointed out that the intense media coverage on the scandal focused “on a young black woman who made a mistake.”
“And not a mistake that’s worth public crucifixion,” she added.
Pinkett Smith replied, “Well you know what they say, black women can be the most disregarded and disrespected creatures on the Earth.”
“Being a black woman in the game, for so long as I’ve been, and just seeing that without people even having heard your side ― just not giving the benefit of the doubt ― it just always seems like, it’s so easy to just target black women, put everything on us, even if there’s other people involved,” the host continued.
Pinkett Smith’s comments registered with many black women on social media, who applauded the “Girls Trip” actress for calling attention to society’s pattern of not showing compassion to young black women and girls.
“Jada Pinkett Smith wasn’t about to let Jordyn go out sad, and all of the black women followed suit as a result,” one Twitter user wrote.
“The last thing I want to say about the @jordynwoods situation is that I believe that she got caught up in their world, but when it all comes down to it, black women can’t do the same thing as white women, we are held to a different standard,” another person tweeted. “I hope she knows now.”
“The Jordyn Woods #RedTableTalk episode is empowering because it shows the power black people can have when we stand together,” wrote another.
Pinkett Smith has often used her platform to boost support for black women. Last January, she publicly backed Mo’Nique’s call for wage equality after the comedian was widely criticized. In January, she called out the apparent ongoing support for R. Kelly, and the lack of protection for black girls and black women.
Kardashian, 34, who welcomed daughter True with Thompson last April, was widely criticized on social media when she initially slammed Woods for her interview on “Red Table Talk” in tweets published Friday.
“Why are you lying @jordynwoods ??” she wrote. “If you’re going to try and save yourself by going public, INSTEAD OF CALLING ME PRIVATELY TO APOLOGIZE FIRST, at least be HONEST about your story. BTW, You ARE the reason my family broke up!”
“This was Tristan’s fault,” she wrote.
Thompson, who also has a 2-year-old son named Prince, made headlines in April last year when videos of him with other women surfaced online days before Kardashian gave birth.
Earlier in the “Red Table Talk” segment, Woods can be seen with Pinkett Smith, the actress’ mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and Will Smith, who spoke with the group over video.
The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” icon explained that Woods and her family had been longtime family friends of the Smith family.
“I want you to know that you are supported, and I got you, and we got you,” he told Woods.