Original Aunt Viv Janet Hubert Feels ‘Peaceful’ After Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion
BY JEREMY DICK
Janet Hubert and Will Smith had feuded for years before they reunited for a special on HBO Max, and now it’s all water under the bridge.
For decades, there had been unresolved animosity between former The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-stars Will Smith and Janet Hubert, but these days, there isn’t anything but love between them. In the sitcom’s first three seasons, the role of Will’s aunt Vivian Banks was played by Hubert, but she abruptly left the series due to clashing with Smith behind the scenes. Daphne Maxwell Reid played the part for the remaining three seasons.
For years, Smith and Hubert had never reconciled, and the moment didn’t come until 2020. Developed at HBO Max, The Fresh Prince Reunion served as a reunion special that brought back the original cast to reminisce about the series. This includes Janet Hubert returning to bury the hatchet with Will and even addressing their feud. The pair hugged it out and, at least on camera, it appeared that all was now well with the former co-stars.
Speaking more about the situation with People, Hubert reveals that a weight has been lifted after making things right with Smith. She describes the feud she had with Will Smith as a “scar” that has since been healed, though it hasn’t necessarily been forgotten. Fortunately, Hubert says that “now it feels very peaceful,” and went on to add that she even keeps in touch with Smith ever since they patched things up.
“We text each other back and forth all the time. As a matter of fact, we have a very good relationship. I meant it with all my heart when I hugged him because I saw that little boy, that little 21-year-old boy. Had we had an opportunity to talk back then, I think this would have never happened. He was in a place, and I was in a place, we were both in a bad place. When you’re both in a bad place and there’s no communication, you have to talk. So it’s been wonderful, it’s been lovely to have him back in my sphere.”
When putting together The Fresh Prince Reunion, Will Smith felt that he “couldn’t celebrate 30 years of Fresh Prince without finding a way to celebrate Janet.” During their chat on the reunion special, Smith admits that he “made the set very difficult for Janet” because he hadn’t yet matured and says he would have done things differently if he knew then what he knows now. For her part, Hubert says she wasn’t fired but left the show when she was offered a “bad deal.” It’s all good now as Hubert even had a pleasant meeting with Daphne Maxwell Reid, her replacement.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air made an incredible impact on pop culture during its run on television. It has recently been revealed that a reboot series reimagining the concept with a darker take is in the works at HBO Max with Smith on board as a producer. Its basic premise is the same, but the show is pretty much pure drama and viewers shouldn’t expect to go into it with laughs when it arrives. For those who prefer the original version, it’s streaming on HBO Max. This news comes to us from People.