Jada Pinkett Smith challenged Snoop Dogg on “Red Table Talk” on Wednesday to explain his offensive comments about broadcast journalist Gayle King, which the rapper admitted were an abuse of his responsibility as a celebrity.
The rapper came under fire earlier this month and later apologized after he posted a profane and threatening rant directed at King over a “CBS This Morning” interview with WNBA star Lisa Leslie. The CBS News anchor asked Leslie whether the 2003 sexual assault allegations against Kobe Bryant complicated his legacy as they talked in a wide-ranging interview about his Jan. 26 death, his basketball fame and his life.
Snoop Dogg posted extensively about Bryant in the wake of his death and blew up over King’s interview, which he claimed was an attempt to damage the NBA legend’s reputation. “Why y’all attacking us? We your people. You ain’t coming after fucking Harvey Weinstein asking him dumbass questions,” he said in his since-deleted video. “How dare you try and tarnish my motherfucking homeboy’s reputation…. Respect the family and back off, bitch, before we come get you.”
Snoop Dogg apologized again on Pinkett Smith’s Facebook talk show, confessing that he allowed his emotions to get the best of him after dealing with a lot of loss in a short time.
“It was just a matter of me losing control. We still ain’t even swallowed Nip,” he said, referring to rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was killed in Los Angeles last March. “Then Kobe and his daughter? I lost a grandson, a grandmother…. I was frustrated on top of just venting and doing it the wrong way.”
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Snoop Dogg said he saw Bryant as a “superhero” and felt a need to protect his legacy and family.
He claimed many people, including Tyler Perry, Puff Daddy and Van Jones, had called him to support him over the controversy but had also let him know that he had approached it in the wrong way. He said he felt a need to apologize, especially after speaking with his mother.
He also acknowledged that he had misused his responsibility as a celebrity.
“It made me feel like I had too much power and at that particular time, I was abusing it…. I’m a great person as far as understanding when I’m wrong. I like being an example of wrong and right because my whole career is based off of being wrong and right.”
Pinkett Smith’s daughter Willow Smith, a regular on the show, asked the rapper if he had spoken directly with King. (He issued his apology in a lengthy Instagram video addressing her.)
Snoop Dogg replied: “No, but I’ve reached out through her friends, her associates. And I even DMed her, sending her a prayer, letting her know I apologize to her. Just doing all the things that I could do to put my effort forward because I was wrong. At the end, I said I’d love to meet with you privately… where I could actually give her a hug, look in her eyes and talk to her.”
Pinkett Smith said she had extended an open invitation to King to join “Red Table Talk” whenever she wants to come.
A representative of King did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bill Cosby who is serving a prison sentence for sexual assault, praised Snoop Dogg’s initial comments about King, echoing the rapper’s sentiment that King and other Black women such as Oprah Winfrey were disproportionately targeting Black men accused of sexual assault. Notably, despite apologizing and deleting his video criticizing King, Snoop Dogg has not taken down other subsequent posts about King’s or Winfrey’s former friendships with convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein, which include messages of support for Michael Jackson and Cosby.
Pinkett Smith, her daughter and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, regularly use the talk show to parse gender and race issues, often meeting with those at the center of controversies to seek and provide understanding. This episode, Pinkett Smith said, was “a huge opportunity to talk about the wounds and culture of disrespect between Black men and Black women.”
Watch the full “Red Table Talk” segment below.
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