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Jada Pinkett Smith was honored with the Trailblazer Award during the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards, which aired Monday.
Pinkett Smith’s Girls Trip co-star Tiffany Haddish presented the award. During her introduction, Haddish praised Pinkett Smith for her work on and off screen.
“Starring in some of my favorite TV shows and movies isn’t what makes her a trailblazer. Neither is the fact that she’s dedicated her life and much of her own dollars and time to help those less fortunate than herself with the Will and Jada Pinkett Smith Foundation,” Haddish said.
“She’s the one everyone who knows her goes to,” she continued. “That’s why I always ask her if I can have some money, and it’s the fact that she’s never stopped pushing boundaries. She doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘No,’ which is also why I ask for money.”
Haddish added that Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk series sets “the standard for talk shows in this next century and bringing together generations on frank discussions on everything from God to sex to race.”
“She’s not making a talk show. She makes a show with real talk,” added Haddish before she presented Pinkett Smith with the award.
Before Pinkett Smith took the stage, Alicia Keys and Queen Latifah praised her for her work in front of the camera and her work to improve society in a prerecorded clip.
After she was accompanied to the stage by her son, Jaden, Pinkett Smith said she wasn’t sure if she deserved the Trailblazer Award “quite yet.”
“I had to think, ‘Jada, why don’t you think you deserve this award?’ And it was because I was comparing myself to all the many trailblazers that I admire, and I realized, ‘Okay, maybe we do have something in common.’ Often we applaud the trails people blaze in the external world that we can see, but very rarely do we applaud the trails that are blazed in the hidden rooms of the mind that are full of uncertainty, false beliefs and pain,” she said. “It’s these internal obstacles that must be challenged in order to muster the courage to forge new paths that we can see in the world.”
“Every last person in this room must do that in some capacity. That means that every single person in this room is trailblazing, whether it’s within or without,” she continued.
Pinkett Smith concluded her speech by saying that she wanted to honor everyone in the room. “I want to say, ‘Here’s to us for all of our trailblazing,'” she said as she held up her award. “Keep it up, and thank you.”
— MTV (@MTV) June 18, 2019
Previous recipients of the award include Shailene Woodley, Channing Tatum and Lena Waithe.
The MTV Movie & TV Awards took place at the Barker Hangar in Los Angeles. Zachary Levi hosted the ceremony.
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