Meta Platforms Scrapping Facebook Watch As Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Show Sees Its Final Days

In this photo illustration a Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone screen above a notebook next to glasses in Athens, Greece on April 4, 2023. Meta Platforms has canceled Jada Pinkett-Smith's show ‘Red Table Talk' due to Meta getting rid of its original programing. NIKOLAS KOKOVLIS/BENZINGA


By Chris Katje

Since the infamous slap hear round the world, members of Hollywood have paid attention to the warning put forth by Will Smith to keep his wife’s name out of their mouth. One company is doing just that and parting ways with Jada Pinkett Smith.

US actor Will Smith at the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 19, 2023, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Smith’s family had a show on Meta as the company is getting rid of its original programming. MOHAMMED SAAD/BENZINGA

At the 94th Academy Awards, many movies took home Oscar trophies for their work throughout the year. The big news from the event wasn’t the winners but rather Smith slapping Chris Rock live during the event.

Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head and husband Smith walked on the stage to slap the comedian.

“Keep my wife’s name out your f**king mouth,” Smith shouted from his seat after the slap. 

Rock said it was a “G.I. Jane” joke, but Smith took offense to the joke as his wife has alopecia, which causes hair loss.

Now, through no fault of her own, Pinkett Smith is seeing her leading project getting pulled and will be looking for a new home.

Meta Platforms reported first-quarter financial results after the market close Wednesday. It was also announced that the company’s head of development and programming is leaving, and the company is ending its Facebook Watch originals content, according to Deadline.

Pinkett Smith co-hosts “Red Table Talk” with her daughter Willow Smith and mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris. The show’s tagline is “3 generations, 1 table, no filter” and featured regular interviews and trending topics covered by the three family members and guests. The show is produced by the Smiths’ production company, Westbrook Studios.

The show will not be coming back for a new season and was one of the few remaining Facebook Watch originals still going as Meta Platforms focused less on this content. The show is now being shopped for a new home.

The decision to wind down Facebook Watch originals comes as Meta Platforms is investing more aggressively in the metaverse and virtual reality-based shows and also investing in new artificial intelligence initiatives.

New specials Meta will air include a virtual reality experience in celebration of The Notorious B.I.G.’s 50th birthday, virtual reality comedy specials and Eli Roth horror Halloween and Valentine’s Day specials.

The move by Meta Platforms also follows what other companies like YouTube are doing in relying more on user-created content instead of investing heavily in originals with big Hollywood names and budgets.

“Red Table Talk” has 11 million followers on Facebook and many episodes have over 1 million views on the social media platform. The last three listed episodes from season 5 had 9 million, 7.5 million and 3.4 million views, respectively.

The aftermath of the slap led to Smith being banned from the Academy Awards for 10 years, and several movies he was working on being paused.

In a standup special that aired live on Netflix, Rock made several jokes about Smith, but as promised, left his wife’s name out of his mouth and didn’t mention her by name.

As unfortunate as it is for Pinkett Smith, it appears Meta Platforms and Facebook are ready to keep her name out of their mouth as well.

In recent years, Facebook Watch had distributed content that included ‘Sorry For Your Loss’ and ‘Tom Vs. Time’, a documentary about the life of Tom Brady that was distributed before his appearing in Super Bowl 52 as a member of the New England Patriots. 

Produced in association with Benzinga

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The post Meta Platforms Scrapping Facebook Watch As Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Show Sees Its Final Days appeared first on Zenger News.


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