If a “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” reunion ever happens, don’t expect the Banks family’s original Aunt Viv, played by Janet Hubert, to attend.
Last week, Will Smith posted a photo on Facebook from a charity event where the show’s cast had gathered. “Got the Holiday season started right with a ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ reunion…there’s nothin’ like spending Holidays with fam!” he wrote. The pic, which included Smith, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana Ali, Alfonso Ribeiro, and James Avery, sparked speculation about Hubert’s whereabouts. Now, we know the reason for her absence: she hates Smith.
Hubert says she still holds a grudge against Smith for her mid-show departure. “There will never be a reunion … as I will never do anything with an a**hole like Will Smith,” she tells TMZ, adding, “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.”
Hubert has spoken out against Smith in the past, saying she believed her replacement by actress Daphne Reid after the show’s 1993 season was a result of Smith turning on her for not worshipping him.
Smith responded to the fallout at the time, telling an Atlanta radio station that Hubert’s attitude was to blame. “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.”
After hearing Smith’s comments, Hubert fired back, saying his quotes were completely baseless. “I wish Will would tell the truth,” she told Jet magazine. “If you’re going to talk, tell the truth. He has gotten me fired from the show and now he is trying to snatch my career away from me (with his recent comments). I have not slandered him in any way. Anyone who stands up to Mr. Smith on ‘Fresh Prince’ is gone.”