How Will And Jada Smith Destroyed Their Kids
Since Will Smith joined Instagram on December 14, 2017, he’s amassed more than 30 million followers who can’t wait to soak up the inspirational wisdom he drops.
And on YouTube, the 50-year-old Aladdin star has attracted more than 5 million subscribers with his daredevil stunts, family vacation moments, and reflections on fame, all of which have reached upwards of 20 million views.
Meanwhile, a year after launching the popular Facebook Watch web series Red Table Talk, his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, 47, and daughter Willow Smith, 18, have pulled in more than 275 million views and a daytime Emmy nomination for their weekly roundtable-style therapy sessions.
And in April, Will and Jada’s son Jaden Smith, 20, performed to a packed crowd at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, delivering one of the fest’s most talked about performances with special appearances by his dad and sister. Together, they’ve unarguably become one of Hollywood’s most influential families.
So for a clan that’s been earning buzz with basically every move that they’ve made this past year, it’s hard to imagine there was a time when it was normal to criticize the Smiths.
But nearly six years ago, Will, Jada, and their three children—including 26-year-old Trey Smith (who Smith shares with ex-wife Sheree Zampino)—were labeled as “freaks,” weird,” and “strange.”
Back in 2013, the couple began to publicly express the way they were encouraging their kids to be independent free-thinkers, empowering them to reject heteronormative standards.
In the following years, critics like New York Post’s Kyle Smith described the actors as the “most horrible parents on Earth,” calling their children Willow and Jaden “überentitled, brainless, self-adoring, twaddle-spewing little munchkins.”
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Jaden & Willow Smith attend Paris Fashion Week, March 2019
The Post’s reporter wasn’t the only one to call the Smiths’ progressive parenting style into question. Many naysayers online, particularly in the Black community, had opinions about Jaden asking to be emancipated and moving out of his family’s home at the age of 15.
They also weren’t rallying behind his decision to wear a skirt in January 2016 for a Louis Vuitton fashion advertorial. Willow posing in bed at 13 with a shirtless older actor didn’t bode well, either.
The latter situation stirred up so much controversy, in fact, that the Los Angeles Department of Children & Family Services reportedly launched an investigation of the Smiths, who, according to reports, were later cleared by the CPS. (It’s worth noting, however, that the investigation was never confirmed by either the Smiths or CPS.)