You know the meme you now automatically send your friends to indicate you got bad news or are having a lousy day? The one of Will Smith with his spirits unmistakably dampened, eyes somber? Yeah, it turns out Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have something to say about that viral crying meme — and first and foremost, they would like to clarify that the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star was not in fact crying. In a newly released video, Will and Jada insist that his face had nothing to do with her entanglement with August Alsina at all, the topic she discussed at length on the Red Table Talk episode from which this meme was born. Actually, Will says it’s a common occurrence for others to think he’s crying when he’s not, and that he was really just tired because they were shooting late at night. Andy Cohen, if you’re listening: just give them a show already, k?
In a new YouTube video thanking the late Robin Williams’ family for honoring him with their father’s Legacy of Laughter award, Will also takes the time to address the snapshot of his face that went viral from this year’s Red Table Talk with Jada.
“People think I’m crying all the time,” he says, laughing.
“And he’s not!” Jada quickly interjects. “Such a shame, such a shame. If they only knew…he doesn’t cry.”
“But it plays!” Will says, still laughing. “It works out.”
Jada is insistent: “He wasn’t crying.”
Will goes on to explain that what you’re seeing in that image is pure exhaustion, as they had been shooting late into the night and were traveling early the next morning. And in fact, both Will and Jada had considered reshooting.
“It was midnight, we were shooting at midnight,” Will explains, “because we were trying to rush to to to the airport in the morning.”
“I should’ve stuck to my first gut which was reshoot the whole dang thing,” Jada adds.
“That’s what I said I said, reshoot it, but it played out!” Will replies. “Everybody’s like ‘poor Will.'”
Look, it’s very, very hard for a couple to release a blasé video in which they insist that a vulnerable moment was actually a case of dry eyes and not come off a little staged. But we’ll echo Willow Smith here and say we’re so proud of how Will and Jada have handled all of this: by sticking together no matter what.