Laverne Cox is opening up about her recent interview with Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, insisting she stands by something a lot of fans took issue with.

28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals

Source: Amy Sussman / Getty

Cox was a correspondent for E! at the SAG Awards red carpet on Sunday, February 27, which is where she spoke to the famous couple. In the final seconds of their interaction, as the Orange Is The New Black star thanked them for their contributions to entertainment, she jokingly mentioned Jada’s infamous August Alsina “entanglement.”

“We love you. Thank you for all the years of joy you’ve brought us,” she said to the couple. “Thank you. We can’t wait for more ‘Red Table Talk’ and more entanglements.”

Though the Smiths didn’t seem bothered by her quip, a lot of fans called the move unprofessional. Even Vivica A. Fox spoke out about the interview, calling Laverne’s comment “tacky” and condemning her comments.

“Talk about wrong place, wrong time,” Vivica said. “I just think that you have to pick and choose because darling, please remember that Will Smith and Jada Pinkett are a power couple. They do a lot of work, they’re very well connected. There are people that now if you might be on the red carpet, they’re gonna all right passed yo a** quickly.”

Because of all the attention her comment has been getting, Cox took to Instagram Live on Wednesday, March 2, to respond to the backlash and explain that her intentions were in the right place. She also emphasizes that this isn’t an apology, though she would give one to Will and Jada privately if they were offended.

“I’ve been thinking about it..No one is above critique, I like to hold myself accountable.. But I wanted to take a moment to critically reflect on it,” she said. “I love Red Table Talk and I love what the Smith’s  have done with it. I think my error was, I had so much I wanted to say to the Smith’s…”

Laverne continued, “So when I said I was looking forward to more Red Table Talk and entanglements, I thought that was funny, but out of context, without a deeper context, people have obviously read it. My intent was not to mock or make fun of but obviously there is a difference between intent and impact.”

That’s when the actress clarified that her video is not an apology, but an invite to think critically.

“I did not apologize, I am contextualizing,” she said. “This is not an apology, if this Smith’s need an apology from me, I’ll find out privately and I’ll do that privately. This isn’t apology, this is a love letter to them. This is an invitation to think critically about our relationship to what we call mess.”
She continued, “I think the public needs an apology more than the Smith’s need an apology. I feel like the public needs the apology, that’s what I felt the past few days, that the public really needs that apology more than the Smith’s need the apology. We laughed and we had a moment, but I feel like the public needs the apology and I could be wrong but that’s what it feels like to me.”


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