Posted 1 week ago
As fans of the beloved ‘90s sitcom know, midway through the NBC show’s six-season run, Janet Hubert aka the O.G. Aunt Viv was without on screen reason shown the door, replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid. Behind the scene's Hubert openly blamed Will Smith for her being fired, and he called her difficult to work with. That feud, which lasted for almost 30 years, was finally resolved on the HBO Max special, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion.
The two sat down and spoke face to face for the first time since 1993. During their tearful reunion, Hubert revisits the circumstances surrounding her departure, revealing information that Smith hadn’t been aware of previously. “You didn’t realize that I was going through a lot at home,” she tells Smith in the reunion special. “You guys didn’t know. [It was] a very abusive marriage.”
Hubert also said that Smith’s interviews about her departure prevented her from finding other jobs. “Words can kill,” she tells the actor. “I lost everything — my reputation, everything. Calling a Black woman ‘difficult’ in Hollywood is the kiss of death.” For his part, a visibly moved Smith apologizes on behalf of his younger self. “I wasn’t sensitive, I wasn’t perceptive,” he says. “Now that I’ve had three kids, I’ve learned some things I did not know at the time and I would do things very differently. But I can see where I made the set very difficult for Janet.” The actor also describes being “driven by fear” at that age, and that led him to view the world around him as a threat. “I can see now the level of pain and the level of struggle that it was just for you to show up everyday,” he tells Hubert.