- (Photo: Reuters/Phil Noble)
Jada Pinkett Smith, actress, mother and wife to actor Will Smith, is defending her son's friend Justin Bieber amid scrutiny stemming from the singer's most recent behavior.
Smith's 14-year-old son Jaden has been public about his friendship with 19-year-old Bieber, who has been making headlines for his Twitter rants, alleged marijuana use and vulgar language toward paparazzi. However, the actress and mother took to her Facebook page to question if people are bullying young entertainers like Bieber and some of his peers in the industry.
"Are we bullying our young artists," the actress questioned while posting images of singers Bieber, Rihanna, Taylor Swift and actress Quvenzhane Willis. "How can we ask for our young stars to have a high level of responsibility if we are not demonstrating that same level of responsibility towards them?"
Smith questioned if more people do not associate bullying with the way young celebrities are treated simply because of their fame.
"This last week, I had to really evaluate the communication in regard to our young artists in the media. I was trying to differentiate cyber-bullying from how we attack and ridicule our young stars through media and social networks," she wrote on Facebook. "It is as if we have forgotten what it means to be young or even how to behave like good ol' grown folk. Do we feel as though we can say and do what we please without demonstrating any responsibility simply because they are famous?"
The 41-year-old actress spoke specifically about the recent criticism of Bieber on Facebook.
"Is it okay to continually attack and criticize a famous 19 year old who is simply trying to build a life, exercise his talents while figuring out what manhood and fame is all about as he carries the weight of supporting his family as well as providing the paychecks to others who depend on him to work so they can feed their families as well," Smith questioned. "Does that render being called a (expletive) by an adult male photographer as you try to return to your hotel after leaving the hospital? "
Smith also used Wallis and Rihanna as specific examples of celebrities being bullied before letting her Facebook fans know that their lives are not easy.
"We all know how hard it is to keep our head above water, even in the privacy of our own homes let alone on the world stage. Imagine yourself, at their age, with the spotlights, challenges and responsibilities," Smith wrote on Facebook. "Most of us would have fallen to the waste side (sic) before we could even get to a crashed Ferrari, a controversial romance, several heart breaks, or an Oscar nomination at NINE. We WISH we could have had the capacity to accomplish HALF of what they have accomplished along with ALL these challenges they face. But…maybe THAT'S the problem…we WISH we could have or even…we WISH we could."
Bieber recently took to his personal Twitter account to thank Smith's husband Will for encouraging him during tough times.
"Love to big man Will Smith for the great talk yesterday," Bieber tweeted. "We know the truth and we must stand tall. Love u man! thanks!"