Will Smith and Janet Hubert make amends on the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reunion.
On the HBO Max special that dropped Wednesday night, the two sat down for a candid talk about their highly publicized feud.
Prior to their chat, Smith told the other cast members, “We never really together publicly talk about Janet and what happened. And for me, it felt like I couldn’t celebrate 30 years of ‘Fresh Prince’ without finding a way to celebrate Janet. So she agreed to sit down and have a conversation with me. And Janet and I saw one another for the first time in 27 years yesterday.”
In 1993, Hubert, who played Aunt Vivian, left the hit sitcom and was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid.
That same year, Smith gave an interview to an Atlanta radio station where he discussed Hubert’s reported on-set attitude, saying, “I can say straight up 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.”
In 2011, Hubert slammed Smith as an “-------” and “egomaniac” while speaking to TMZ.
When Smith and Hubert finally reunited on-camera, they gave each other a lengthy hug.
“It’s been a real long time,” Smith said.
In their talk, Hubert discussed being pregnant during the show’s third season and that “there was a lot of things going on in my life and Will’s life as well.”
“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,” she explained.
Smith then admitted to not being “sensitive” to Hubert during this time in her life.
“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,” he said.
While Hubert says she was not fired from the show, she claims they cut her salary and offered her a “really bad deal” that she had no choice but to reject.
After leaving the “Fresh Prince,” Hubert felt “disowned” by Hollywood, and was reportedly told that Smith had “banished” her.
In response, Smith admits, at that time in his life, he was “driven by fear” and that “everything was a threat” to him.
“I have children. I’ve been divorced and I have a second marriage, and I can see now the level of pain and the level of struggle that it was just for you to show up every day,” he said.
“But you took all of that away from me — with your words,” Hubert retorted.
“Words can kill. I lost everything. Reputation. Everything. And I understand you were able to move forward, but you know those words, calling a Black woman ‘difficult’ in Hollywood, is the kiss of death. And it’s hard enough being a dark-skinned Black woman in this business.”
Despite their past beef, Hubert “felt that it was necessary for us to finally move forward. And I’m sorry that I have blasted you to pieces.”
After Smith thanked Hubert for her honesty, Hubert put her hand on Smith’s face.
“You’re still my Aunt Viv,” he declared.
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” — which debuted in September 1990 and ran for six seasons until May 1996 — can currently be streamed on HBO Max.