Jada Pinkett Smith’s show Red Table Talk—which she hosts along with her mom Adrienne Banfield-Norris and daughter Willow Smith—continually works to destigmatize mental health and addiction. Pinkett Smith and Banfield-Norris are both in recovery themselves and have been candid about their struggles.
Red Table Talk looks at complicated topics in a nuanced way that we don’t always see in the media. The subjects they cope with don’t have simple answers. The three hosts and their guests are more concerned with telling their truth in all its complexity, rather than tying things up with a neat bow.
The show has had multiple episodes about addiction and mental health. In one, the rapper Kid Cudi discussed his depression, suicidal thoughts, and drug use. Actress Kelly Osbourne went on to talk about using heroin, alcohol, and painkillers. Pinkett Smith and Banfield-Norris spoke extensively about their own addictions—and how those can attach to other things beyond substances.
Red Table Talk encourages raw honesty about things that are often unspoken. It brings topics like race, divorce, addiction, and suicide to the literal table, inspiring both guests and viewers to speak openly.
In an interview, Pinkett Smith said of her reasons for creating the show, “I guess at this point in my life, I’ve really been doing a lot of interior work. And I just realized that in part of my growth, the women and the people who had the courage to be very transparent with me with certain aspects of their journey really, really helped my journey tremendously. I was like: ‘Why don’t we talk about this more often? Why is it such a secret of what people go through?’”
Silence and secrecy breed shame. When you feel like you can’t talk about something, you internalize the idea that there’s something wrong with you for going through it. Shame can then build on itself, and keep people stuck in cycles of addiction and self-destructive behaviors. The show is an important example of how we can start ending stigma—through ordinary conversations and a willingness to be vulnerable.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you process the underlying reasons you used substances and build a life in recovery. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.