Jada Pinkett Smith's fiery defense of Jessica Chastain is what Hollywood needs.

'I got to give our sister Jessica Chastain her props.'

This was the cover of Los Angeles Times' magazine The Envelope, published on Dec. 21, 2017.

Notice anything ... painfully obvious?

All actresses gracing the cover — Margot Robbie, Diane Kruger, Saoirse Ronan, Annette Bening, Jessica Chastain, and Kate Winslet — are white.


The cover's message — highlighting "a change in the way many stories are told" — came across as tone deaf and exclusionary at a time when the conversation around racial diversity on screen has taken center stage.

Many people noticed. "I don't understand how ... a cover like this could be approved with this headline," one Twitter user said.

It was Chastain in particular, though, who took the most heat for appearing on the cover.

In recent years, Chastain has become a vocal advocate for change in Hollywood, publicly addressing how racism and misogyny affect her industry in consequential ways. Her production company, Freckle Films, is primarily staffed by women, according to The Mary Sue, and focuses on female-driven projects. So her involvement in The Envelope cover was especially noteworthy (and disappointing) to many fans, given her commitment to changing the industry from the inside out.

‌Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Critics' Choice Awards.‌

"Honestly, [Chastain], as an outspoken voice for equality, how do you pose for a photo like this and not feel absolutely mortified by the blatant exclusion?" asked WNYC editor Rebecca Carroll.

To her credit, Chastain responded to the cover, calling it "sad" and demanding better:

And many fans defended the actress, suggesting that she was being disproportionately criticized.

But Chastain also got some big-name support from another famous woman in Hollywood: Jada Pinkett Smith.

At the Sundance Film Festival, Pinkett Smith took part in a panel about the importance of diverse storytelling on Jan. 22, 2018. While she didn't directly reference the fallout from The Envelope cover, Pinkett Smith made a point to praise Chastain for her work behind the scenes empowering women of all colors.

‌Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The Clara Lionel Foundation.‌

Pinkett Smith referenced a new film project starring Chastain and the Oscar-winning Octavia Spencer, who is black, in order to illustrate an important point.

"Jessica said to Octavia, ‘I got you. I’m going to Universal, and we’re going to make a favored nations deal,’" she began. "Jessica stood up for Octavia, and I want you to know that because they stood together, they got three times what they were asking for as a unit."

The "favored nations deal" Pinkett Smith referenced is a clause in some entertainment contracts that guarantees no other performer sharing the screen with an artist can be working under better terms. By helping ensure Spencer got a deal in that vein, Chastain helped level the playing field.

Representation is important, Pinkett Smith explained, but it should be accompanied by real, substantial work toward equality — work that often happens behind the scenes.

And when it comes to doing the work, according to Pinkett Smith, Chastain is a team player. She went on:

"It’s nice to go out and march, we can do that. It’s nice to wear black at the Golden Globes. It’s nice to do that. But what are we doing behind closed doors? And I got to give our sister Jessica Chastain her props. Because she stood up for Octavia and put it down. And that’s how we all need to do it for each other.”

Preach, Jada.

Watch Pinkett Smith's fiery defense of Chastain in the video below:

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

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Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

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A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

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In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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