Saturday, April 6, 2013

Why is Nobody Listening to Jada Pinkett Smith?

Jada Pinkett Smith is an accomplished A-list actress, woman of color, and mother. She's extremely active in charity work. She has 3.1 million fans on Facebook.

Compare this to her husband Will Smith, who has 43 million fans. Or Justin Bieber, who has 52 million fans. Or even The Rock, who has 8 million fans.

Here's the thing about those other folks on Facebook. They update occasionally, sometimes with what even seem to be personal messages about how they hope you see a new movie they're in or about celebrating milestones.

"12 pizzas. Sent by my 2 agents.
Dominated by 1 man."
I kind of want his life.
But Jada Pinkett Smith actually talks.

On March 10th she posted a short essay titled "Are We Bullying Our Young Artists?", in which she talks about the offhand way the media treats stars as young as single digits. On March 18th she posted another short essay called "Will there ever be a day in which women will be able to see each other beyond race, class, and culture?" And on March 21 she posted a response thanking her readers for listening and commenting, and saying that she hopes they keep thinking.

Did she really read all those comments? There's no way of telling. But that's not the point. People constantly bemoan the lack of thought and leadership in the areas of diversity and education in our celebrities. Here we have a celebrity who seems to be genuinely invested in connecting with people on a personal level about these subjects, and she's ignored. Where's the news articles about Jada Pinkett Smith starting a cultural dialogue?

I'm not saying that her thoughts are necessarily ground-breaking. But Jada Pinkett Smith is trying to talk, and I'm not sure that anyone is listening.


  1. I watched an interview with her a couple of days ago, and she was very thoughtful and interesting. The Rock has 8 million fans? Oh dear.

  2. I think she may not be using her star appeal to her advantage if she doesn't have the fan base the others do. Fame doesn't come to you because you're thoughtful and engaging on topics like culture and diversity. It's what the media has created.

    Fans want to see train wrecks on the silver screen. They want simple, funny crap, not deep, meaningful prose. Maybe she's making first steps in a great direction. It took Oprah how long to acquire her fame? How many fans does Oprah have? Just curious.