Reporting Denise Koch
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Another blow in the war of words between actress Jada Pinkett Smith and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Pinkett Smith wants the mayor to monitor elephant care when the circus comes to town. The mayor questions the actress’s priorities. Now, Pinkett Smith fires back.
Denise Koch has more.
Baltimore native Jada Pinkett Smith has real star power. Now, she’s trying to use that power to correct what she believes is animal cruelty — the use of bull-hooks or prods on Ringling Bros. circus elephants.
The circus is coming to Baltimore later this month so she wrote the mayor a letter reminding her of a city ordinance: “Banning any mechanical, electrical or manual device that is likely to cause physical injury or suffering.”
The mayor responded.
“We’ve reached out about homelessness, school issues,” she said. “I would have loved to have gotten some feedback and some support or concern about those issues that are very pressing.”
News traveled fast, and Friday, the Will and Jada Smith Foundation fired back another letter saying, in part “Your (Rawlings-Blake’s) response to her (Pinkett Smith’s) letter was disturbing, irresponsible, inflammatory and inaccurate.”
It goes on to list the Baltimore charities the foundation has supported and ends by saying, “Jada is a proud Baltimorean who has generously given back to her hometown.”
So far, there has been no response from the mayor.
Animal rights advocates have just staged protests at circus performances in Charleston and Atlanta. Ringling Bros. says its animals are well cared for.