The last time The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-stars Will Smith and Janet Hubert, who played the original Viv, spoke was 27 years ago. She was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid after season three of the NBC sitcom, with Smith claiming that “Janet Hubert wanted the show to be The Aunt Viv of Bel-Air Show because I know she is going to dog me in the press,” and Hubert responding, “He probably is responsible for my firing. He has a lot of clout. It’s too bad that it’s a Black-on-Black attack. I tried not to name names. I have more class than that.” It got ugly. But the pair finally settled their feud for the Fresh Prince‘s 30-year reunion special, now out on HBO Max.
“I just wanted to know one thing: Why?” Hubert asked Smith. “You guys went so far. I lost so much. How do we heal that?” The actress was going through a lot in her personal information that Smith didn’t know about, including the network wanting to cut her salary for season three and an “abusive” marriage. “During that third season when I got pregnant, there was a lot of things going on in my life and Will’s life as well,” she said. “Home life was not good at all. I was no longer laughing, smiling, joking because there were things going on that nobody knew about. Cast had no idea what was going on.”
Smith replied, “During that time of her pregnancy, I wasn’t sensitive, wasn’t perceptive. Now that I’ve had three kids, I’ve learned some things I did not know at the time. I would do things very differently. I can see where I made the set very difficult for Janet”:
“You took all that away from me with your words,” Hubert told Smith. “Words can kill. I lost everything. Reputation. Everything, everything. I understand you were able to move forward. You know those words — calling a Black woman ‘difficult’ in Hollywood is the kiss of death. It’s hard enough being a dark-skinned Black woman in this business. I felt it was necessary for us to finally move forward. And I’m sorry I have blasted you to pieces.”
The duo ended up apologizing and embracing. “You’re still my Aunt Viv,” Smith said.
(Via E! Online)