Jada Pinkett Smith Not Letting Slap Fallout Get in the Way of Supporting Her Friends

The actress and spouse of Will Smith showed up in support of Debbie Allen and Shonda Rhimes.

Jada Pinkett Smith, seemingly putting her husband’s nonsense behind her, made her first public appearance since Oscars night on Saturday evening. The actress and wife of Will Smith, who took it upon himself to stroll up to Chris Rock and whop him across the face during the Oscars telecast, appeared for red carpet pics with Shonda RhimesDebbie AllenSamuel L. Jackson, and LaTanya Richardson Jackson for the opening of the Rhimes Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles.

The Rhimes Center is the new home of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. The organization is over two decades old and its mission statement boasts that “with a focus on disenfranchised Black and Latino communities, the world class faculty and staff members of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy use dance, theater, and performance to enrich, inspire and transform the lives of their students.”

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Rhimes Center was on July 1, 2020. One of the facilities at the Rhimes, a “fly aerial studio,” will be named for Will and Jada, according to Broadway World.

While Jada was all smiles on the red carpet, l’affaire du Slap continues to resonate throughout Hollywood and the entire known universe. (It’s all anyone can talk about at the water coolers on Ganymede.) She has remained quiet about the incident, which began when Rock made a comment about her appearance (and a dated reference to G.I. Jane.) It remains unclear if Rock was aware that the actress has alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss. Beyond a vague comment about healing uploaded to her Instagram, she has not officially spoken on the matter.

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Also on Saturday, actor Harry Lennix published an op-ed in Variety in which he argued that the 10-year banishment the Academy handed out to Smith is not enough. He called the punishment “little more than an extended time out for a playground bully,” and argued that the King Richard actor must voluntarily return his Oscar to restore honor to the ceremony.