The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion is now available to stream on HBO Max in the US.
"I was never fired, but the misconception was always put out there", she said. There was some friction because I was pregnant. Home life was not good at all. I wasn't perceptive and now that I've had three kids, I've learned some things that I did not know at the time and I would do things very differently. So they said, 'Okay, then we're going to recast your role.' And I said, 'What can I say?' I was hurt deeply, deeply.
Then over the years, Janet Hubert criticised the show many times and expressed her dislike for Will Smith in public interviews. When she was offered a new, restrictive contract -she would only work two and a half months out of the year, her salary would be cut, and she would be prohibited from accepting other jobs outside of Fresh Prince - she refused to accept the offer.
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However, her character Aunt Viv lived on and was re-cast as actress Daphne Maxwell Reid.
"I don't know your story", Smith said.
"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", Hubert said during the reunion. "How do we heal that?"
The core cast members, including Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Aunt Vivian 2), Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), and Smith, all returned to the iconic Bel-Air set to film the special.
Smith and Hubert have exchanged barbs in the media over the years, with Hubert telling TMZ in 2011 that she would not participate in a reunion because she would "never do anything with an a-hole like Will Smith". She said she wasn't unprofessional on set, she just didn't talk to anybody because she didn't know who to trust. "The person I want to be is someone who protects you, not someone who unleashes dogs on you", he said. Because you were Will, you were a kid.
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He admitted that at the time, he felt that everything was a "threat" to him and that it was only later that he saw "the level of pain and the level of struggle that it was for you to show up everyday". "And I'm sorry I have blasted you to pieces". "You took all that away from me with your words. Reputation, everything, everything", she continued.
Hubert is candid and specific in how this mischaracterization of her attitude and work ethic tarnished her career, particularly as a dark-skinned woman: "Calling a black woman hard in Hollywood is the kiss of death". It's hard enough being a dark-skinned Black woman in this business. She has basically gone from a quarter of a million dollars a year to nothing. "And what happened. And, for me, it felt like I couldn't celebrate 30 years of Fresh Prince without finding a way to celebrate Janet".
Sitting in the section of the sitcom's studio usually reserved for the live audience, the pair wasted very little time on pleasantries, instead diving headfirst into the controversy of Hubert's unceremonious exit from the show.
"You're still my Aunt Viv!" he declared. But Hubert, who was in her mid-30s at the time and had begun her career in the original 1982 Broadway production of "Cats", took it a step further, noting that the damage to her career reached far beyond the "Fresh Prince" set.
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The increase was above the expectations of analysts, who had predicted that inflation would stay flat. A one-month lockdown was announced for England at the end of the month and started on November 5.