LOS ANGELES – In Hollywood, can kids ever just be kids?
A photograph allegedly of 13-year-old entertainer Willow Smith, the daughter of Will and Jada Smith, in bed with 20-year-old former “Hannah Montana” actor Moisés Arias, has ignited a wave of controversy.
Published by gossip website MediaTakeOut.com, the somewhat low-quality picture shows what is purported to be Smith lying (clothed) on a bed while a shirtless Arias sits holding a pillow with his back against the wall.
Page Six reports that Arias posted it on his Instagram account then removed it due to backlash on Twitter.
While the nature of the photograph and the person behind the lens are not clear, fans have indeed been weighing in on the pic in social media.
“Sure looks like it is time to reel Willow Smith in,” one tweeted, others expressed concern just by the mere fact that the young teen was hanging in a bed with a “half naked adult,” and another quipped that the pre-pubescent teen “seems to be growing real fast.”
And it turns out the friendship between Smith and the actor seven years her senior is not new. Early last year, Arias directed the music video for Willow’s older brother Jaden’s single “Hello” – in which she made a cameo appearance – and they’ve spotted hanging out several times since then.
Last October, Kendall and Kylie Jenner joined the Smith siblings and the Arias brothers – Moisés and Mateo – for lunch at sushi restaurant Sugarfish in Calabasas.
And just this past Thursday, Willow and Moisés were photographed lunching with singer Telana Nicole at French chain cafe Le Pain Quotidien in Calabasas, Calif.
Representatives for Willow and Moisés, as well as Will and Jada Smith, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
This isn’t the first time concerns over age appropriateness have come up around the young star. Last summer, the then 12-year-old raised eyebrows with the release of her song “Summer Fling,” which contained lyrics such as “the bright sun and the blue water, we fight less and love harder,” as well as “we walk the beach at midnight, and watch the stars in the clear skies. We both say I love you, but it’s alright… If you wanna talk I guess that’s alright, if you wanna walk under the night sky, I don’t really care cause we got tonight, oh baby…”
The accompanying music video added to the controversy, given that Willow starred alongside a seemingly much older male love interest.
But according to an interview last year with Metro, her famous folks don’t punish their kids.
"We [Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith] don't do punishment…The way that we deal with our kids is, they are responsible for their lives. Our concept is, as young as possible, give them as much control over their lives as possible and the concept of punishment, our experience has been—it has a little too much of a negative quality,” he said. "So when they do things—and you know, Jaden, he's done things—you can do anything you want as long as you can explain to me why that was the right thing to do for your life."
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