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Gloria Estefan Brings Herself to the ‘Red Table,’ Entanglements Be Damned

Gloria Estefan Brings Herself to the ‘Red Table,’ Entanglements Be Damned

Gloria Estefan is suspicious of the Red Table. “What is it we used to say guys?” she asks her niece, talk show host Lili Estefan, and daughter, musician Emily Estefan, who are gathered on a conference call. “It’s the color of the table!” Lili says, as if accusing a furniture hue of witchcraft. “Or they’re drugging us!” Emily adds. Laughing, Gloria gets the final word. “They’re injecting us with truth serum.”

The thing is: there is something mystical about the Red Table, or maybe at least about the candid, outspoken women who agree to “bring” themselves to it, to use the verbiage the iconic gathering place has earned.

Since 2018, actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, her daughter Willow, and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris—three generations of women from the same family—have brought themselves to the table for Red Table Talk, the Facebook Watch talk show that launches its first spin-off October 7 with Red Table Talk: The Estefans.

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“When Jada came to me about this, I already thought the show was brilliant,” Gloria says. “Like, innovative and groundbreaking, to be able to actually talk without interruptions, without having to do a soundbite, without having to sell a product.”

To call the conversations that Pinkett-Smith and her family have revealing or unfiltered would be like calling the debates on The View orderly and polite discourse. No other talk show finds its hosts baring their deepest secrets and most vulnerable truths to the depths they have in the series’ three seasons.

They’ve discussed porn addiction, sexuality, racism, and gun violence. In memorable episodes, Gabrielle Union came to the table to hash out a 17-year-old feud with Pinkett-Smith rooted in industry rivalry as Black women; Ellen Pompeo discussed her interracial marriage and white privilege; Leah Remini came on to bury the hatchet over her insinuation that Pinkett-Smith had ties to Scientology; and Jordyn Woods, Kylie Jenner’s best friend, told her side of the story when she was accused of making out with Tristan Thompson, Khloé Kardashian’s ex and the father of her daughter.

In a rarity when it comes to this genre of show, the headline-making gossip is considered an added bonus, not the central mission or reason to watch: that is instead the shocking candor of the Pinkett-Smith family. Of course, occasionally those two attributes collide.

The Red Table has also proved a useful, if uncomfortable tool for discussing the family’s own headline-making gossip, as it was this summer when Pinkett-Smith brought herself and husband Will Smith to the table to discuss bombshell tabloid reports that she had an affair with singer August Alsina, with, Alsina says, Smith’s blessing.

The “entanglement” episode, as it became referred to after Pinkett-Smith comically characterized the relationship—which happened when she and Smith were separated—as “an entanglement,” has been viewed over 35 million times. That makes the very personal and very juicy content of the episode now the first thing on fans’ minds when the Estefans launch their Red Table Talk: The Estefans series Wednesday at 12 pm ET—which is certainly an interesting position to be in.

“I know that you want to know,” Lili says, laughing. “We left our entanglement episode for season 2.”

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