Will Smith buries feud with his Fresh Prince co-star Janet Hubert
Thursday - 19/11/2020 18:02
After years of fighting, Will Smith and his Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air co-star Janet Hubert finally sat down for a brutally honest chat.
Will Smith finally made amends with his Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air co-star, Janet Hubert, in an emotional show reunion.
The actor, 52, hugged and made up with Janet after hashing out their 27-year feud in a tense HBO Max special, The Sun reports.
Janet played Aunt Viv for the first three seasons of Fresh Prince, but left in 1993 and was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid for three more seasons until the show’s finale in 1996.
She and Will slammed each other publicly over the years, with Janet calling the Hitch star an “egomaniac” and claiming that he was “responsible” for her exit, while Will claimed Janet wanted Fresh Prince to be the Aunt Viv Of Bel Air.
They cleared the air in a reunion special to celebrate the popular ’90s sitcom’s 30th anniversary.
“We never really together publicly talk about Janet and what happened,” Will began by telling the other cast members, Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana Ali, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
Will went on: “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.”
He and Janet, 64, then had a long hug, with the actor acknowledging, “It’s been a real long time.”
Janet explained: “During that third season when I got pregnant, there was a lot of things going on in my life and Will’s life as well.”
Janet reflected on being pregnant with her son, Elijah Issac, and alleged that she was in a “very abusive marriage” to James Whitten, who she divorced in 1994.
“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 said.
Father-of-three Will replied: “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.”
Janet then claimed she wasn’t fired from Fresh Prince, but offered “a really bad deal” with a pay cut.
“I had a new baby and a husband who was out of work, so I said no. I did not accept their offer,” she recalled.
“I was never fired, but the misconception was always put out there. I was trapped – what could I do? They said, ‘OK, then we’re going to recast your role,’ and I said, ‘What can I say?’ I was hurt, deeply.”
The General Hospital actress said she felt “disowned” by Hollywood, and that she was told Will had “banished” her.
Will – who has a son Trey, 28, with his ex Sheree, and son Jaden, 22, and daughter Willow, 20, with his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith – said he now understands the “pain” Janet was going through.
“I have children, I’ve been divorced, I’ve had a second marriage. 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,” he said.
Janet went on: “You took all that away from me with your words. Words can kill. I lost everything. Reputation. Everything, everything.
“I understand you were able to move forward. You know those words – calling a black woman ‘difficult’ in Hollywood is the kiss of death.
“It’s hard enough being a dark-skinned black woman in this business. I felt it was necessary for us to finally move forward. And I’m sorry I have blasted you to pieces.”
Will 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.”