Red Table Talk: T.I. Speaks on What He Refers to as 'Hymen-Gate', Somehow Learns About Patriarchy for 1st Time

Adrienne Banfield-Jones (top left), Jada Pinkett Smith (top right), T.I. “Tip” Harris (bottom left) and Tiny Harris (bottom right) on Red Table Talk
Photo: Michael Becker (Courtesy of Facebook Watch)

After some promotional teasing, the time has come for T.I., also known as Tip Harris, to sit down at the famous red table.

On Monday’s episode of Red Table Talk, T.I. (government name, Clifford Harris) and his wife Tiny (government name, Tameka Harris) sat with Jada Pinkett Smith and Adrienne “Gammy” Banfield-Jones to thoroughly discuss his controversial comments surrounding the rapper’s daughter Deyjah’s virginity. To recap, T.I. claimed that he took his daughter on routine visits to the gynecologist for hymen checks.

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After wildly referring to the incident as “hymen-gate,” T.I. immediately begin to attempt at some sort of clarification, claiming his comment was said in a “joking” atmosphere.

“I came to clear up any misconceptions that have been surrounding how we interact and parent and what is appropriate and inappropriate,” he started.

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“From a place of truth, I began to embellish and exaggerate and I think a lot of people took it extremely literal,” he continued. Except, later on in the interview, while attempting to clarify any misconceptions that this ritual continues now that Deyjah is 18 years old, T.I. and Tiny both confirmed they did take her on these gynecological visits when she was 15 or 16 years old.

Oprah Winfrey, not believing your lies
Gif: GIPHY
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One thing the rapper did apologize for is speaking to the public about it, noting that he apologizes to his daughter, specifically, and no one else. He also noted that though he didn’t realize the levels of “sensitivity” of the matter beforehand, he does now.

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“My daughter said just let it go, don’t say nothing, just let it go and I did — until l I had different directives,” he said in response to why he waited to respond to the criticism. “I would not be here today had I not had those different directives. I’d still be sitting in silence.”

Overall, the interview was all over the place, with T.I. appearing to only concede about his choice to air the ritual to the public and not so much his problematic and hypocritical ideas of virginity for a son versus a daughter (peep his wild analogy about what teen pregnancy does to the household and how virginity means the loss of “childhood”).

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A major highlight of the episode involved Pinkett Smith teaching T.I. about the concept of patriarchy. This moment most certainly made me (and others) double-take as the multisyllabic rapper is certainly no stranger to vocabulary.

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I would’ve appreciated the inclusion of Deyjah in the conversation, assuming that is something she would’ve wanted to participate in. Willow Smith’s relevant input was also noticeably missing.

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Finally, if you don’t get anything else from this episode, please make sure to document Gammy’s facial expressions. Thank you, you’re welcome and goodnight.

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Part one of the T.I. / Tiny Red Table Talk episode is available now on Facebook Watch. Part two, where the couple will discuss the trials and tribulations of their relationship, will drop on Facebook Watch on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 9:00 a.m. PT /noon ET.

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About the author

Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.