As Fresh Prince of Bel-Air gears up for a reunion on HBO Max, Will Smith has shared a photo of himself smiling alongside the original Aunt Vivian, Janet Hubert.
The photo might come as a shock to Fresh Prince die-hards and even casual pop-culture fans, given Smith and Hubert’s highly visible, decades-long fight.
“I can say straight up that Janet Hubert wanted the show to be The Aunt Viv of Bel Air Show because I know she is going to dog me in the press,” Smith said, per E.
Hubert went so far as to sue Smith and NBC that same year for defamation, invasion of privacy, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The AV Club, which reviewed the book, described it as “solely devoted to making [Will Smith] look bad”—although she also apparently saved some words for Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks!
“That’s because he has made it his business to continue kissing Smith’s butt by slandering me, sometimes at universities that my son may possibly attend in the near future.” She complained that Smith would say things like “I am God and I can do anything,” and told “Yo momma” jokes on set.
News notes, Ribeiro offered some thoughts on Hubert as well.
“She went nuts!” Ribeiro said of Hubert.
During an interview with BlackAmericaWeb in 2010, The Huffington Post notes, Hubert went into more detail about those alleged jokes Smith told on set.
as I will never do anything with an asshole like Will Smith...
“I would say to him [Smith], we need to heal this,” Hubert added.
“We need to have a reunion; we have to end this horrible, 21-year war,” she said, adding later, “I think we all owe each other an apology.”.
To that she said, “I had an expression: ‘If you want me to kiss your butt, you have got to put it in my contract.’ He did some heinous, horrible things to me.
But in 2016, it seems Hubert did another about-face, mocking Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, for urging a boycott among Black performers against the Oscars after the Academy failed to nominate Smith for his work in Concussion.
She then turned her attention to Smith: “I seem to remember at option time [on Fresh Prince] coming to you and saying, you know what, Will.
“There are those out there that really deserved a nod,” Hubert added, “and Idris Elba was one of them, lord have mercy Beast of No Nation was incredible, that man is an incredible actor,” Hubert added.
A month later Hubert said during an appearance on The Real that she’d reached out to Smith and his manager James Lassiter to clear her name of all the allegations of on-set toxicity.
But then came another reunion photo kerfuffle: In 2017, Ribeiro posted a reunion photo on Instagram—once again, without the OG Aunt Viv
“I know the media hoe Alphonso Ribeiro has posted his so called reunion photo,” Hubert wrote
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