Sandra Bullock will open up about her experiences of being a mother to two Black children. The actress, 57, will chat about parenthood in the Wednesday, Dec. episode of Red Table Talk. In a sneak peek shared ahead of the new episode, Sandra speaks candidly about wishing that her skin color “matched” her adopted children, son Louis, 11, and daughter Laila, 9.
“To say that I wish our skins matched, sometimes I do,” she says to co-hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris. “Because then it would be easier on how people approach us. And I have the same feelings as a woman with brown skin with her babies or a white woman with white babies.”
“It’s the mother-child dynamic,” Willow adds. “There is no color.” Sandra adds, “Maybe one day that will go away. Maybe one day we will be able to see with different eyes.” The actress adopted her son Louis in 2010, when he was just 3 months old. She adopted big sister Laila in 2015, when she was 3.
In a cover story for PEOPLE in 2015, the Oscar winner opened up about her son was “ready” for Laila “before she even arrived,” noting that the topic came up at a dinner with friends. “He puts his hands behind his head and leans back and says, ‘I don’t have daughters,’” she recalled. “And we agreed as well that he didn’t have daughters, and then he said, ‘but I’m gonna have a baby soon. I don’t know its name yet, but it’s coming.’”
Sandra called Louis a “wise old soul and often knows more than I give him credit for,” adding, “I think he was ready for her before she even arrived.” That same year, while speaking to BET, the actress spoke about racism, addressing whether or not she’s had conversations with Louis about Black Lives Matter and racism in the country.
The star said she was “absolutely” having those conversations, adding, “It’s an open conversation that we have. He fully understands what that means. He doesn’t understand why people judge each other based on color of their skin, but he knows they do. He also knows that there’s sexism, he knows that there’s homophobia. He knows a lot for a 5-and-3-quarter year old.”
She added that the sooner parents have those conversations, the better. “I think if you don’t start the conversation very early on, you’re doing them a disservice,” Sandra said. “I can’t ride in a bubble with him. I want him to know the truth, but I also want him to know the good in the world as well. Those are hard conversations to have, you know.”
“It’s not any conversation any parent wants to have with their child, is that you’ll be judged by the color of your skin rather than the content of your character,” Sandra continued. “But it exists, and I want him to be safe and I want him to be aware. Once he leaves that house and I’m not with him, it’s his life and how he approaches it is his decision. But I want to know that I did the best I could as his mom to educate him on the ugliness in the world, and also the beauty.”