After becoming the butt of the internet’s jokes this weekend, Jaden Smith is taking the high road.
In case you missed it, Jaden — who is, of course, the 23-year-old son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith — was at the center of social media mockery late last week after a resurfaced clip of him criticizing his peers went viral.
In the 27-second clip — which is taken from a 2018 interview with Big Boy TV — Jaden opens up about his unconventional upbringing as the child of A-listers and explains how being surrounded by adults as a kid altered his perspective on politics and global issues.
“I am very happy that I spent my childhood with more adults than I did with kids my own age, because I was picking up more things from adults than I [was] from kids my own age,” he begins.
He then goes on to mock his peers for being too self-absorbed and obsessed with social media, impersonating a young person saying: “Broooo! Look at my phone! Selfie!”
Seemingly frustrated by what he deems to be a lesser attitude to life, Jaden then questions why people his age aren’t more focused on the bigger picture.
“I’m just, like, ‘Dude, like, oh my God,’” he says. “Can we talk about the political and economic state of the world, right now? Can we talk about what’s going on in the environment? Can we talk about other things?”
The clip was first shared on TikTok and later surfaced on Twitter, where it has amassed over 5.5 million views since it was posted on Sunday.
But, before we get into the world’s response to Jaden’s comments, it’s worth giving context to his sentiments by mentioning that — thanks to his immense privilege as the child of two incredibly successful people — Jaden has stood out as a player in the world of environmental sustainability.
In case you didn’t know, with the help of his family, Jaden founded his water company, Just Water, which doesn't use plastics, in 2015 when he was a teenager. He has claimed that he came up with the idea for the brand when he was 11 or 12 years old.
However, even the most unproblematic public figures aren’t immune to the internet’s ruthlessness.
So, of the millions who caught wind of the resurfaced interview, many were quick to highlight the irony in Jaden’s criticism of his own age group and mock the young star’s cringeworthy comments.
“LMFAOOO jaden smith is not real,” one Twitter user wrote, seemingly baffled by the clip.
“Jaden Smith thinks he gotta PhD in maturity,” wrote another, adding that Jaden’s comments about his upbringing also made it seem as if he missed out on a normal childhood by being surrounded by adults all the time.
Other Twitter users shared reaction pictures and videos to poke fun at the actor.
“Jaden Smith after telling every kid in recess that they only have 20 years to live because of global warming,” someone wrote.
“8 year old Jaden smith when jada gave him a spider man themed birthday party instead of a book study on the war of mesopotamia,” echoed another.
“Jaden smith on his way to curse out his kindergarten classmates for not understanding the complexities behind the current political climate,” joked someone else.
One user even gave their take on the situation using Jaden’s memorable role alongside his father in The Pursuit Of Happyness.
But, away from the masses of mockery, some went a little easier on Jaden, acknowledging that he’d clearly misjudged the delivery of his otherwise defensible sentiments.
“Bro literally said it in the most pretentious way possible, that’s why people are clowning him, and rightfully so,” someone commented. “Cool, you want to change the world but people don’t want to hear all that as a kid.”
Interestingly, right after the viral clip cuts off, in the full interview Jaden quickly offers a disclaimer to his comment, adding: "Don't worry, I like to turn up, I like to flex ... but, I'm always looking for that next thing. I'm not satisfied at a party."
With the jokes quickly taking over Twitter feeds, it wasn’t long before Jaden caught wind of the conversation himself and decided to hop on the bandwagon with a take of his own.
And, after amassing nearly 100,000 likes on his response, Jaden seems to have earned Twitter's forgiveness.
Well, if you can’t beat ‘em, you might as well join ‘em!