I’ve watched the video of B. Smith and her husband Dan Gasby, who shamelessly unveils their unconventional (“modern”) living situation, several times and understand I don’t understand what it feels like to watch your once vibrant and exuberant wife be ravished by a degenerative disease that steals the sweetest and most bitter of her memories. But something about it just doesn’t sit right with my soul.
Gasby revealed his interesting new family structure in an interesting short for TheWashingtonPost. Gasby, feeling fatigued and broken from caring for his wife during her battle with Alzheimer’s, found love in another woman, Alex Lerner, who helped nurse him back to a better mental health space. However, Gasby has mixed the two and fans feel like he’s betrayed her legacy by putting on disgraceful display of something that could have been kept private.
B. Smith was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s six years ago and slowly the disease ate away at her memories and transformed the lifestyle guru, who was once hailed as “the Black Martha Stewart” into a shell of herself.
While I fully acknowledge the nobility in Gasby caring for his wife through “sickness and health,” something about him having his White girlfriend up and throughout the house he once built with B. Smith feels wrong. B. Smith isn’t in her right mind and Gasby is falsely presenting his mistress to Smith, who see’s her as a friend. Furthermore, this White woman is reaping the benefits of a Black woman’s hard work while also brazenly enjoying her husband.
Smith advocated and raised awareness around Alzheimer’s disease. Bringing cameras into her home to show the devastation of the disease seems in line with her brand, but would the woman whose bright smile once lit the halls of her restaurant want her legacy to be tarnished by her husband’s public display of a forced threesome.
Don’t get me wrong, taking care of a sick loved one should not be underestimated or condensed into short understanding. The frustrations, the despair, the resentment, the vows. Gasby’s undying love for B. Smith won’t allow him to walk away, and that should be applauded, but in his efforts to care for himself he’s crossing a line that feels like unnatural spectacle. Perhaps the act itself is more forgivable than him broadcasting it in front of the world and expecting us to eat it up like one of the delicious dishes she once served at her restaurant.
Unless there was a discussion prior to, with B. Smith giving her husband her consent to have another woman traipsing around her home, it feels self-serving and unnecessary. And now he’s on a press tour with Lerner.
The backlash has been swift and severe, sending Black Twitter into a raucous.