Over the weekend, some folks were giving Will Smith the side-eye over a happy birthday post he shared of his e-wife and oldest son’s mother, Sheree Zampino, that pictured a throwback flick of the trio. To be clear, this wasn’t just any old happy birthday post. The 50-year-old actor and father of three ended his shout-out with, “I love you, Ree-Ree.” Obviously, Will has been happily married to wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, for 20-something-years, a topic that comes up quite often on her Facebook show, Red Table Talk, so needless to say the internet went TF off about the post.
They didn’t hold back either. “If I’m the wife, she’s the baby mama.. b***h you better text her Happy Birthday, ain’t no posting pics , saying you love her! No acceptable ova here!” wrote one commenter. “Yeah.... No!!!! Happy birthday and keep it moving....” said another. Even Chris Rock chimed in under the comments and said, “Wow. You have a very understanding wife.” Yikes!
But even with all the side-eye, there were still a few folks who felt Will and Jada knew what they were doing. “The Smiths are on a vibe only they can be on cuz can’t nobody be as positive and understanding as them 😭❤️” wrote one fan. Another said, “Jada does not gaf, TRUSTTT ME.”
Perhaps Will and Jada are the exception, but IRL, would this fly? Since Will’s post sparked such debate on social media, we reached out to real women to see if they were put in Jada’s shoes would they let their man post his baby mama with the caption “I love you” for his baby mama’s birthday.
See their responses below:
"Ehh...that's a slippery slope. I guess it varies case by case and depends on the dynamics of the co-parenting relationship. But issa no for me dawg. Lmao! He can give a regular 'Happy Birthday' and keep it moving." -Tiffany, 27
"I think it’s dope Will and Sheree have a great relationship. More importantly, I think it’s dope that Sheree and Jada have a great relationship.
"It’s not often that we see positive examples of peaceful co-parenting in the black community. People really need to chill and worry about their own relationships." -Ashlee, 31
"I think it's quite sad how many people are 'offended' by a man expressing love for the mother of his child. A man having love for his 'baby mama' sounds ten times more healthy than two co-parents who don't get along, barely speak or are in a situationship. But, hey, what do I know? *shrugs*" -Iyana, 30
"Normally it's a HELL NAW for me. A regular birthday shoutout is cool, I'd prefer them to be cordial but the 'I love you' is a lot for me. But Jada's birthday shoutout was just as heartfelt, so Will knew he wasn't out of line. As long as you respect the rules in your relationship, you good." -Jelani, 28
"Knowing Will and Jada's relationship, the post isn't even as crazy as Garcelle and Vivica posting whole kissing photos for Will's birthday. Jada also posted a loving sentiment to Sheree for her birthday. I feel like if someone went 'off' over that, it's childish.
"If you're that insecure with your man/partner having a loving, successful co-parenting relationship, you need to check yourself. It IS okay (shocking, I know) for co-parents to love each other and be friends while raising their child/children. Peep Diddy and all his baby mamas, Amber & Wiz, and many others. Whew, y'all be reaching." -Mya
"He says 'baby mama' and not 'wife' -- they also have a good dynamic (Jada and her).
"Now, me! If I had a relationship with a man who had a child with a girlfriend or even a wife prior to our relationship, I would expect them to have a good relationship for the sake of their child. I do not want to deal with a bitter baby mama, nor would I want my man/husband to have to feel awkward to make decisions for our family based on a bitter baby mama. If a man can get along with his ex/baby mama, that makes it way easier for her to get along with me and we can keep it pushing." -Michelle, 27
"This one is definitely chancy, but I think it all depends on the nature and history of the relationship. I might kindly open the conversation to discuss how these types of gushy Instagram posts should be reserved for significant others (ME). But in that same breath, I wouldn't 'go off' either...maybe just a slight attitude, LOL." -Diamond
"Jada and Will have a different kind of relationship. Their blended family is quite beautiful but issa NO for me. I wouldn’t want my husband to post anything about his ex-wife, ex baby mama, ex GF whatever. If there are children involved, a simple Happy Birthday call or text would suffice." -Anonymous
"I think this really depends on the person and their understanding of what it means to be involved with someone who had a child before their relationship started.
"I want to have a healthy, growing relationship with the mother of my husband's child, and I want my husband to have a good relationship with her as well. She was a pivotal role in his life before I was ever part of it. I'm glad he can love her, respect her, and appreciate her. If I was in Jada's shoes, I'd be thinking, wow this is truly a great example to my sons of how a mature man can be. Shoot, I want to love his ex wife, too, we share a family now.
"It's more than being understanding, this woman is raising his son. And he should love her for the phenomenal job she's doing." -Kim, 29
(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)