Jada Pinkett Smith and daughter Willow at the New York City premiere of After Earth May 29, 2013
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz

Jada Pinkett Smith is weighing in on the controversy set off by a photo of her 13-year-old daughter, Willow, and her daughter’s 20-year-old friend Moises Arias. The questionable photo was posted on Arias’ Instagram page but was quickly deleted after it became the subject of negative comments. The photo showed Willow lying on a bed with a shirtless Arias.

Folks had their fair share of comments Wednesday regarding the photo. Many felt that it was inappropriate for a 13-year-old even to be friends with a 20-year-old, let alone appear in what some saw as a suggestive photo. Others felt that the context in which the photo was taken was missing and pointed out that obviously, someone else was in the room with the two.

TMZ, which was first to release the photo, caught up with Pinkett Smith as she was arriving at Los Angeles International Airport to get her reaction. Needless to say, the actress feels the commentary on the photo is much ado about nothing: “Here’s the deal. There was nothing sexual about that picture or that situation; you guys are projecting your trash onto it, and you’re acting like covert pedophiles, and that’s not cool,” she stated.


I’m not sure if “covert pedophiles” should be the term used to describe those people who didn’t think the photo was appropriate. To label someone a pedophile, covert or not, just because he or she feels a 13-year-old should not be lying on a bed with a 20-year-old is a bit extreme. But like I said yesterday, everyone’s parenting style is different. 

Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.


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