Jada Pinkett Smith reveals why her Nutty Professor wig looked so 'rough': 'I fought and I fought'
On the latest episode of Red Table Talk, the actress says The Nutty Professor is the last time she didn't have her own hairstylist for a film.
In the latest episode of Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith said that her Carla Purty 'do was a most definite don't, and in fact, something she tried to talk her way out of.
"This was a rough one," the actress said on the latest episode of her Facebook Watch series with her daughter Willow Smith, and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, as the three women discussed the issues they've encountered across their respective lives in the hair space.
Pinkett Smith said someone who did her wig on the film did not believe her when she explained how many Black women style their roots.
"She thought the roots should be, not smoothed, but the hair should be straight," Pinkett Smith said, commenting on her character's look. "She was like, 'Well, you know, usually for Black women, you don't have straightened roots.' And I said, 'Oh no, we do. We either straighten it with a hot comb or we perm it.'
"But she didn't believe me," Pinkett Smith continued. "So, she made it with roots that weren't straight but the hair was… And I fought, and I fought and I fought."
The actress said The Nutty Professor (1996) became "the last time" she didn't have her own hairstylist for a film.
Many Black actresses have spoken out in recent years about their experiences on set with those who didn't know how to work with Black hair, and a lack of diversity among the hair and makeup part of the crew.
"You'd walk into the hair and makeup trailer, and there was no one there to service you, to understand your hair and makeup needs," Nia Long recalled in an interview with EW earlier this year. "And then you were labeled difficult if you said, 'No, I'm not getting in front of the camera looking like this because I could do it better myself.'"
In former America's Got Talent judge Gabrielle Union's lawsuit against NBC Universal, which was settled amicably, per PEOPLE, she alleged that as a Black woman, she was "singled out due to her physical appearance and discriminated against by NBC due to the fact that her hair did not fit within the white image that NBC apparently sought to convey to the AGT audience."
Taraji P. Henson told The Hollywood Reporter in a 2020 piece that she had resorted to hiring a stylist on her own dime after one on a shoot, purchased a cheap wig, and "didn't even know how to style it."
Watch the full episode of Red Table Talk below and on Facebook Watch.
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