Sometimes two people can be mad at each other for years, and then realize they have no idea why they were ever beefing to begin with. It doesn’t even matter if you’re two of the most famous black actresses in Hollywood—and that’s the case with Jada Pinkett Smith and Gabrielle Union. After 17 years of ducking each other in public places and putting on fake smiles, the two actresses finally sat down to discuss their “petty” beef on Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch talk show Red Table Talk.
“Gabrielle and I were never really girlfriends; we were great associates,” Pinkett Smith explained to her mother, Adrienne, before the interview, which aired Monday. “At some point that dissolved, and for 17 years, we have not really spoken.”
Even though Union and Pinkett Smith appeared at the same events and were cordial with each other, they actually didn’t start speaking again until recently.
“Gab and I, we had a bit of a break, we don’t know how, and she’s been open to this healing, she’s been open to this conversation,” Pinkett Smith said.
And all it took was one phone call, after 17 years.
“It felt so good on the phone with you to even just go, ‘Hey, I’m sorry that I didn’t even take the time to talk to you, you know?’ And then I had to just apologize, and just thinking to myself, ‘Damn, Jada! That was some petty-ass shit!’” Pinkett Smith said. “Every time we would see each other [over the years], we were always cordial and always nice, but it was always tension.”
Union did admit that it wasn’t until she met with her life coach years ago that she realized she was carrying around negative energy and admitted that she was taking joy “in people’s pain.”
“She got me right between the eyes; it was harsh in the moment, but it was like, ‘Damn, I have been communicating through negativity,’” Union said.
Take a look at their cathartic interview below.