It seems that 30 years is enough to resolve differences with someone. Or at least that’s how it has happened to Will Smith and Janet Hubert, the actress who gave life to the first Aunt Vivian in The prince of Bel Air and that since his departure from the series he had had a strong confrontation with part of the cast and, in particular, with the protagonist. Now, when three decades have passed since the broadcast of the first chapter and on the occasion of the reunion of the cast organized by Will Smith himself and HBO Max, the two actors have decided to bury the hatchet.
The stormy relationship between the two ended with the departure of the actress at the end of the third season. According to Smith, Hubert wanted more prominence in the series because he did not like the idea of the entire weight of the comedy falling on a 20-year-old. “Janet wanted the series to be called Aunt Viv from Bel Air“Said the actor, who said he was fired because” he was always pissed off. ” According to the actress, Smith made jokes about her skin color, since despite being both black she was darker than the actor. When three years after the start of the series, she was replaced by actress Daphne Reid, Hubert assured that the bosses of the NBC network were pressured by Will Smith to stop counting on her. In this time, in addition to holding the actor responsible for his departure from the series, Janet Hubert has made Will Smith his greatest public enemy and in each interview she threw a dart at him. “I will never work with an asshole like Will Smith again. He is still an egomaniac and has not matured at all, “he said in 2011. In 2015 and through a Facebook message, the former Aunt Viv criticized the interpretation and especially Will Smith’s accent in The truth hurts to justify that he was not nominated for an Oscar, and accused him of not having helped his colleagues when they demanded a salary increase years ago: “When I asked Smith many years ago to also raise his voice with us about salaries … he did not did”. And in 2017 he called the interpreter who gave life to Carlton Banks in fiction, Alfonso Ribeiro, “Will’s lick” when he published a photograph of a meeting in which he appeared with some of his colleagues from the series and to which there was no assisted Hubert.
However, all this has been left behind after a long conversation that the actors have had face to face. Hubert, who has clarified that she was never fired, but that it was she who decided to leave due to the poor conditions they offered her, has apologized to Smith for everything she has said about him at this time; he, for his part, has also assumed his responsibility and regretted not being aware of the situation the actress was experiencing at that time.
“What happened is that at the end of the third season they offered me a lousy contract. They told me that I was only going to work for two and a half months and that I couldn’t do anything else for the rest of the year. That meant that they lowered my salary a lot ”, explained Janet, who recalled that the change of contract coincided with her new maternity ward. “The problem is that at that time I had just become a mother and my husband was unemployed. So I had to tell them that I couldn’t accept those conditions. I say this because they never fired me, although that is the idea that has remained since then ”, he lamented. “But I was stuck in that situation. What else could I do? On top of that, the producers told me that if I didn’t accept they would replace me with another actress. It hurt me deeply ”, she has admitted revealing that she was not angry with any of the actors, but with her personal life since she was in a“ very abusive ”marriage relationship. And he has confessed: “He no longer laughed, he did not joke, he did not smile because he had problems that nobody knew about and he did not know who he could trust in the filming.”
Will Smith has put himself in the shoes of the actress before offering a hand: “I have had children, I have gone through a divorce and I remarried. So now I know and now I understand the level of pain and the level of suffering that it meant for you to have to go to work on the show every day ”.
Hubert has insisted on explaining everything that happened and how lonely she felt at the time: “It’s that I lost everything. Even the reputation. And I understand that you could move on, but those words that were said, saying in Hollywood that a black woman is problematic on set, is a death sentence. As if it wasn’t difficult enough for us to work in this business ”. The actor, who after the success of the fiction had a very prolific career in theaters, has acknowledged that he had not been Hubert’s best ally at a time when he would have required more empathy: “I can see that I made things more difficult to Janet ”.
“I feel like it was necessary for us to finally sit down and talk about what happened between us. I’m very sorry for all the bad things I’ve said about you over the years, ”she apologized, thanking Smith for inviting her to the reunion. “Thank you for sharing what happens to you with me. I didn’t know then how bad you were going through, I just thought you hated me. But I couldn’t do this show to celebrate 30 years of the show without you. Without celebrating everything you did for him show but above all, how much you did for my life ”, he concluded.
Fortunately for both of them and for the followers of the series, everything has ended up being clarified and now the two share confidences, jokes and encounters on their social networks, such as one of Will Smith’s latest publications, a video where he appears with his two aunts Viv .
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Will Smith and Janet Hubert, the first aunt Viv from ‘The Prince of Bel Air’, make peace after 27 years | People