Jada Pinkett Smith did a big thing in pop culture when she first launched her Facebook Watch web series, Red Talk Talk. Since 2018, the show has left so many of us glued to our phone or laptop screens, as we watch Jada alongside her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, and her daughter, Willow Smith, sitting around their signature red table talking candidly about their own struggles and digging deep into topics that celebrities often try to dodge or avoid. The vulnerability portrayed by three generations of strong and powerful Black women has been a rare find on the internet. There’s nothing out there quite like it, which is why we were overjoyed when we learned there was going to be a spinoff called Red Table Talk: The Estefans, bringing on some very much needed Latinx representation!
Similar to the original Red Table Talk series, the new spinoff also features three generations of women including Award-winning musician Gloria Estefan, her niece and Daytime Emmy-Award-winning TV host Lili Estefan (mostly known for her work on El Gordo y La Flaca) and her daughter and rising musician Emily Estefan. The three hosts who are Cuban American, tackle the realities of working with family, as well as, the lack of Latinx representation in American media that still exist today. And if you’re wondering how raw and real the Estefans are willing to get, episode one already proves that they certainly aren’t afraid to get deep.
The first episode titled “Surviving Divorce” was released on Wednesday, October 7, and addresses the pain Lili Estefan experienced during her very public divorce from Cuban businessman Lorenzo Luaces, after 25 years of marriage.
“Everybody’s been asking us, ‘Are you going to be as honest as Jada, Gammy and Willow?’” Gloria starts the show off saying.
“You have to be,” says Lili. “It would be a disservice not to,” Emily adds.
If this episode did anything, it was making it really clear that no topic is off-limits for the Estefans, especially considering this is the very first time the family discusses the divorce publicly.
“2017 was supposed to be a great year for me. I was a very accomplished woman in my career… my husband who protects me, he was a very accomplished guy. I had two beautiful kids and I was celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary,” Lili says.
A few days after celebrating their anniversary, Lili’s husband reveals to her that the paparazzi had caught him with another woman and were asking for $200,000 for the pictures. Lili was flipping out, especially after learning that she was the last one to learn about the affair. Everyone including her boss, colleagues, and producers at Univision knew her husband was cheating. It even forced her to have to make a public announcement on live television.
“Imagine, right from the beginning, I felt so humiliated privately and then publicly,” she said. “I’ve been loyal to that man for every moment — he’s going through hell and back — and you’re there. You support. You build. You love. And then at the end, why did they eliminate [my] position as a wife. I didn’t get a raise. They fired me.”
Lili did find a way to come out stronger in the end and throughout the entire divorce process found a way to keep her head up. In fact, the day her divorce became public was also the same day she won a Daytime Emmy-Award. “You can break my heart, but you cannot take my soul,” she said.
Gloria Estefan’s longtime husband, Emilio Estefan, who is also the uncle of Lili, later joined the conversation along with Lili’s daughter Lina, who shares how hard her parents’ divorce hit her. She slowly found herself struggling with what the family now recognizes was clinical depression, as a result of her parents’ split.
“I was a competitive dancer. I was always doing super well in school. Slowly I started losing interest in everything. My grades started slipping. When I’d get to school, I’d sleep. I quit my school dance team and I was just coming up with excuses and my friends were noticing and I didn’t understand that” she says. “Getting out of bed in the morning was so hard. I remember checking my attendance one day. I had like 40 absences. I saw it affecting my relationships. I’d bottle it up and after a month I’d explode and then I’d bottle it up again and I would explode.”
It was refreshing to see the Estefans speak so candidly about such a personal family crisis because topics like divorce and cheating are, unfortunately, still taboo in many Latinx households. The trailer for the upcoming episode addresses when Emily came out as queer and how that impacted the family. These are conversations that are important to have but that lot of Latinx families still struggle to discuss. If the spinoff becomes a success, the Estefans might want to consider having a version of the show in Spanish only, for older generation Latinx folks to watch because the series is covering some good stuff here! Check out episode one below!