Will Smith and Janet Hubert end feud years after she quit Aunt Viv role on Fresh Prince

Daniella Scott
·3-min read
Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

From Cosmopolitan

Will Smith and Janet Hubert have finally ended their 27-year-long feud which first began when they starred together on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as Will and Aunt Viv, before Hubert quit the show citing "creative differences". Since the fall out began the pair have battled very publicly for years, but managed to reconcile during the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion show which aired on HBO Max on Wednesday this week.

Hubert played Will's Aunt Viv for the first three seasons of the hit show, but when the show returned for a fourth season in 1993 Hubert had been replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid with no explanation given as to Hubert's sudden departure.

Not long after, Smith claimed to an Atlanta radio show that it was down to jealousy;

"I can say straight up that Janet Hubert wanted the show to be The Aunt Viv of Bel-Air Show... She's mad now but she's been mad all along. She said once, 'I've been in the business for 10 years and this snotty-nosed punk comes along and gets a show.' No matter what, to her I'm just the Antichrist."

Then in 2011 Janet spoke to TMZ about a possible reunion of the show, saying it would "never" happen, and calling Smith "an a**hole," and an "egomaniac."

"This constant reunion thing will never ever happen in my lifetime unless there is an apology, which he doesn’t know the word," she added.

Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

After years of sniping in the press fans were pretty surprised to hear that Smith and Hubert were due to appear together on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion show.

The show, which aired last night on HBO Max, saw the pair sit down together to reconcile their differences for the first time in 27 years, with Hubert clarifying to Smith the reasons why she left the show.

"They offered me this really bad deal in the third season," she explained. "They said, 'You’ve got two months and two weeks of work and you cannot work anywhere else', so that meant my salary was cut. I had a new baby and a husband who was out of work, so I said no. I did not accept their offer.

"I was never fired, but the misconception was always put out there. I was trapped — what could I do? They said, 'Okay, then we’re going to recast your role'."

Photo credit: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion - HBO
Photo credit: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion - HBO

Hubert explained that she struggled on set because she was in a "very abusive relationship," and that leaving the show and the feud that ensued afterwards severely affected her career and reputation.

"I have children, I’ve been divorced, I’ve had a second marriage," Smith replied. "And I can see now the level of pain and the level of struggle that it was for you just to show up every day."

"I lost everything — reputation, everything — and I understand you were able to move forward," Hubert responded. "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."

Explaining why she wanted to end the feud after almost three decades Hubert said, "I felt it was necessary for us to finally move forward, and I’m sorry that I have blasted you to pieces."

In response, Smith said, "First of all, thank you for sharing that with me. I didn’t know that, when I look back now it’s obvious that you were having a hard time and I felt like you hated me. I could not do a 30-year celebration of this show and not celebrate you, celebrate your contribution to the show, celebrate your contribution to my life."

Cosmopolitan UK's December/January issue is out now and you can SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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