Jada Pinkett And Will Smith’s Media Company Reportedly Faces Massive Changes Post-Oscars Slap

by Grace Somes
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith || Image credit: @willsmith

Just a few months before The infamous Oscars Slap, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith had the perfect time to sell their media company, Westbrook.

The couple was reportedly in deep talks with Candle Media, who bought Reese Witherspoon’s production company and book club, Hello Sunshine, for a whopping $1 billion, to sell their company Westbrook in a billion-dollar deal.

According to a recent report from Semafor, Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s multimedia company Westbrook has reportedly taken a hit after the Bad Boys for Life star slapped comedian Chris Rock on live television.

Including Will Smith’s giant brand and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk, the Hollywood couple valued their empire far above $600 million, which was the estimate Candle, backed by Blackstone and led by two former Disney heirs apparent, valued Westbrook.

And so the deal folded.

Despite the expected deal fizzling out, Westbrook was still doing well with the success of the TV show “Bel-Air” and the Oscar-nominated movie “King Richard, with about a 100-member staff.

With the acquisition of the German media company Telepool, Westbrook employed more people, mostly in its Calabasas offices, as it started scaling up the international business space.

Also, the entertainment company was said to be close to earning $170 million in 2022 through various production deals, including “a variety of series for Disney+, Apple TV, Snapchat, Netflix, and Hulu.”

All these seemed that the company was on an uphill climb until the slap incident went down at the 2022 Academy Awards.

At the 2022 Oscars, Will walked on stage during Chris Rock’s set and slapped the comedian for making a controversial joke about his wife, Jada. When he returned to his seat, Will Smith screamed, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f*king mouth.”

Some Westbrook partners reportedly decided not to renew their existing contracts with the media company, subsequently forcing business profits to allegedly drop last year to $100 million and the “Red Table Talk” was canceled by Meta in April 2023.

Last year, WGA and SAG strikes affected the company, resulting in a 25% staff layoff.

Despite the purported downslide, Westbrook still has active deals with Columbia/Sony (Bad Boys 4), Amazon (Night of the Living Dead, The Understudy, Clean Air), Netflix (Fast & Loose, Onyeka & the Academy of the Sun, Cobra Kai), Universal (Regulators), Peacock (Bel Air, Queen of Flow), Paramount (Brilliance), and Disney+ (Pole to Pole).

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