Will Smith and Janet Hubert got together for the reunion special of their show ‘The Fresh Prince.’ The duo had a full-fledged discussion on why Janet Hubert left the show 27 years back. The Fresh Prince of Bell-Air Reunion premiered on HBO Max to celebrate their 30 years on Wednesday night.
The duo discussed what happened between them that encouraged Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) to leave the show. Will Smith says, “We never 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.”
He further added, “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.”
The Fresh Prince of Bell-Air Reunion was also joined by other cast members including Tatyana Ali (Ashley Banks), Karyn Parsons (Hilary Banks), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey the Butler), Daphne Maxwell Reid ( New Aunt Viv), Alfonso RibeiroCarlton), and DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jazz).
Why did original Aunt Viv(Janet Hubert) leave The Fresh Prince?
Will Smith and Janet Hubert reconciled a day earlier before the reunion special to clear the air. She said that she was pregnant during the third season, dealing with an abusive marriage, and was offered a ‘bad deal’ on the show. She says, “I wasn’t unprofessional on the set; I just stopped talking to everybody because I didn’t know who to trust because I had been banished.” She told Smith that they told her “that it was you who banished me.”
After that, she decided to quit the show. But her decision of quitting was reported on as her being fired. She mentioned, “I just wanted to know one thing: Why? Why so far? You guys went so far. I lost so much. How do we deal?”
She continued, “I lost everything. Reputation, everything… Calling a Black woman in Hollywood difficult is the kiss of death. It’s hard enough being a dark-skinned Black woman in the business.”
After their differences got resolved Hubert said, “After 27 years, being here today, and having the conversation that Will and I had together, it’s healing.”
The cast also dedicated an emotional tribute to the late James Avery, who played the role of Smith’s Uncle Phil on the show.