The reunion episode of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has now aired, and everyone was shocked to see Will Smith and Janet Hubert make up. So what actually happened? Here’s the Aunt Viv drama explained.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic sitcom the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith has put together a reunion show featuring most of the original cast, even including Janet Hubert who played the famous Aunt Viv in the first three series’ of the show!
On the HBO Max reunion episode, Janet and Will make up after their lifelong feud. Let’s explore what actually happened between them…
What happened between Will Smith and Janet Hubert?
Janet Hubert is best known for playing the character of Vivian Banks or ‘Aunt Viv’ on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from its first season in 1990 until the end of the third season in 1993.
However, her time on the show was cut short when she left the show in 1993, and she has had a lifelong feud with Will Smith ever since. Here’s what actually happened.
For years, people believed that Janet was sacked from the show in 1993, but in the reunion show, she revealed that this isn’t actually true. She chose to leave the show as she was pregnant and having problems in her home life, whilst also experiencing friction with Will Smith on set. Alongside that, her salary was also cut, forcing her to leave.
In the reunion show she said:
“There was some friction between Will and I…because I was pregnant. Home life was not good at all. I was no longer laughing, smiling, joking because there were things going on that nobody knew about.”
However, her character Aunt Viv lived on and was re-cast as actress Daphne Maxwell Reid.
At the time, fans of the show weren’t best pleased about the change of actress, with Janet being a well-loved part of the show.
The reason given by Will for Janet’s departure was that she was ‘difficult to work with’ and the pair had ‘creative differences’, but there always seemed to be a lot more to it than that.
The real reason why she left the show was never actually revealed until the reunion episode aired in November 2020, 27 years later.
In an interview with an Atlanta radio station in 1993, Will Smith publicly called out Janet and said:
“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. She has basically gone from a quarter of a million dollars a year to nothing. 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 over the years, Janet Hubert criticised the show many times and expressed her dislike for Will Smith in public interviews.
She even swore that she would never appear in a reunion episode, and according to TMZ she said:
“There will never be a reunion…as I will never do anything with an a—hole like Will Smith. He is still an egomaniac and has not grown up. This constant reunion thing will never ever happen in my lifetime unless there is an apology, which he doesn’t know the word.”
Janet has slammed Will Smith many more times over the past 27 years, and the lifelong feud between the pair seemed as though it would never end – until now.
Janet and Will make up on the reunion episode
The Fresh Prince reunion episode aired on HBO Max last night (November 18th), and it saw Janet and Will finally ending their feud.
The pair sat down together for the first time in 27 years and explained the reasons for their bad blood. Their heart to heart actually brought them both to tears as they both explained their side of the story.
At the end, the two hugged and Will Smith said:
“I could not do a 30-year celebration of this show and not celebrate you, celebrate your contribution and celebrate your contribution to my life. The person I want to be is someone who protects you, not someone who unleashes dark on you.”
Janet then apologised and said “It’s so weird. We’ve said such hateful things about each other publicly and I’m sorry.”
Will then responded with the words “I’m sorry” too, before Janet said “we good?” and Will confirmed “we good”.
27 years of public feuds are finally over, and the pair are finally on good terms again. At least something good came out of 2020!
Watch the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion now on HBO Max.