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One of the main segments of the show that many will be itching to see is the meeting between Smith and the original Aunt Vivian played by Hubert — and it is a good meeting that will take you on a whole other journey.
Hubert exited Fresh Prince of Bel-Air after three seasons and was replaced by Reid. As a result, there was a very public feud between Smith and Hubert that continued for almost 30 years.
“For me, it felt like I couldn’t celebrate 30 years of Fresh Prince without finding a way to celebrate Janet,” said Smith.
But what would this reunion be like? Will be more of a catty Real Housewives reunion? Or more of an Oprah Winfrey Show moment? Luckily, it was the latter.
“Been a long time,” Hubert greeted Smith as they met one-one on the set.
Hubert was the “OG Aunt Vivian”. She said she never saw anyone that looked like her that played a role like Aunt Viv. A dark-skinned Black woman who was regal, a good mother, role model, professional and as Hubert put it, could throw down. Hollywood never looked to an actress like Hubert to fill that type of role so in that sense, Hubert was a trailblazer. She was definitely a favorite when the series launched. She could act, sing and dance (remember that iconic dance she did to C+C Music Factory’s “Everybody Dance Now”?) But then after season 3, she left, disrupting the show and this special was an opportunity for the two to hash things out.
“This has been tough,” Hubert told Smith at the start of this very candid conversation. “I just wanted to know one thing: why did you guys go so far? I lost so much.”
Smith responded that he didn’t know her story.
“You have no idea,” she said. Hubert went on to clarify that during the third season when she got pregnant, there was a lot going on in her life and in Smith’s life which caused the friction between the two. “I was no longer laughing, joking smiling because there were things going on that nobody knew about.”
Smith admits that during her pregnancy that he wasn’t sensitive to Hubert, but now that he has matured he wishes he would have done things differently. “I can see where I made the set very difficult for Janet,” he said.