Joshua Jackson defends Jodie Turner-Smith over ‘racist and misogynistic’ criticism over her marriage proposal

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Joshua Jackson defends wife Jodie Turner-Smith from backlash over her proposal (AFP via Getty Images)
Joshua Jackson defends wife Jodie Turner-Smith from backlash over her proposal (AFP via Getty Images)

Joshua Jackson has defended his wife Jodie Turner-Smith from the “racist and misogynistic” trolls who criticised the actress for being the one to propose.

In July, Jackson revealed during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that he knew he and his wife would get married “the moment she asked me”.

“She asked me on New Year’s Eve. We were in Nicaragua, it was very beautiful, incredibly romantic, we were walking down the beach, and she asked me to marry her,” the Dawson’s Creek star recalled at the time, adding that his now-wife had been “quite adamant, and she was right”.

In an interview with Refinery29, Jackson expressed his gratitude at being able to give “context to this story,” with the 43-year-old revealing that his wife has been targeted by trolls since he shared the details of their proposal, and that the experience ultimately helped him recognise how far we still are from equality.

“So I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn’t give the full context and holy Jesus, the internet is racist and misogynist,” he said.

Jackson then confirmed that he and Turner-Smith had been in Nicaragua and that it could “not possibly have been more romantic” and that his wife did “propose to me and yes, I did say yes,” before revealing that he also proposed to her.

“What I didn’t say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I’m still old school enough that I said: ‘This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too],’” Jackson said, adding that he told Turner-Smith he wanted to ask for her biological father and her stepfather’s permission, and that he wanted the opportunity to propose to her “the old fashioned way down on bended knee”.

“So, that’s actually how the story ended up,” he continued.

The actor went on to address people who are “freaked out by a woman claiming her own space” and who left negative comments on Turner-Smith’s Instagram, telling critics to “shut the f*** up”.

“Yes, two proposals. And also for anybody who is freaked out by a woman claiming her own space, shut the f*** up. Good God, you cannot believe the things people were leaving my wife on Instagram. She did it. I said ‘yes.’ We’re happy. That’s it. That’s all you need to know,” the Dr Death star said.

While speaking with the outlet, Jackson also reflected on what he witnessed and learned from his wife’s “truly shocking” experience, which he called “a real education for me as a white man, truly”.

He said: “The way people get in her comments and the ignorance and ugliness that comes her way is truly shocking. And it has been a necessary, but an unpleasant education in just the way people relate to Black bodies in general, but Black female bodies in specific. It is not okay. We have a long way to go.

“I would wish for my wife that she would not have to rise above with such amazing strength and grace, above the ugliness that people throw at her on a day to day. I am impressed with her that she does it, but I would wish that that would not be the armour that she has to put on every morning to just navigate being alive.”

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Jackson and Turner-Smith married in 2019, before welcoming their first child together, a daughter, in 2020, which the actor described to the outlet as the “two best choices I’ve ever made in my life”.

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