How ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Reunion Healed a 27-Year-Old Feud for Will Smith

How ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Reunion Healed a 27-Year-Old Feud for Will Smith

The year was 1990, and the color was neon. The phenomenon known as Will Smith made an entrance into the Banks mansion and our lives through The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It has been 32 years since its premiere, and the NBC show still has a special place in our hearts. In November 2020, the sitcom celebrated its 30-year anniversary with a full cast reunion on HBO Max. However, for the Fresh Prince himself, this wasn’t just a happy walk down memory lane, but something much deeper.

Granted, the show was an all-out comedy, but it wasn’t all hunky dory when they called the cut. In fact, the sets of the hilarious series saw an intense falling out between Will Smith and a costar that lasted for close to three long decades. Let us find out what went down between them and how they could finally bury the hatchet.

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Will Smith attempts to end the 27-year-long feud

For avid Fresh Prince fans, Janet Hubert is definitely not an unfamiliar name. In fact, for many, she is and will always remain the original aunt Viv. For the first three seasons of the show, Hubert flawlessly embodied the role of Vivian Banks. Her character was a strong and proud African-American woman with an obvious soft spot for her nephew Will. The earlier episodes showed some impeccable performances and amazing chemistry between the two actors.

The fourth season saw a new aunt Viv and, just like that, Hubert was gone reportedly because of creative differences. There was a lot of bad blood between Smith and Hubert, and the two did not shy away from expressing their views publicly. Nevertheless, the reunion also celebrated the coming together of these estranged colleagues. Will invited Janet to sit down and once and for all address all their issues. 

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Will and Janet Hubert have a heart-to-heart about the past

By Hubert’s own admission, she was “offered this really bad deal in the third season.” Additionally, she had an unhappy home life at the time and was expecting a new baby. Contrary to the rumors that floated back in 1996, Hubert was never fired; she turned down the offer. After listening to her side, Will Smith realized he had been unfair to his costar.

During that time of her pregnancy, I wasn’t sensitive. I wasn’t perceptive,” admitted the Hancock actor.

Smith also laid out his perspective from back in the day. “I was 21 years old. Everything was a threat to me,” reminisced Will. Janet further explained how she was shunned by the industry, while the Men in Black actor could easily move past the feud.

Calling a Black woman difficult in Hollywood is the kiss of death,” stated Hubert.

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Granted, it took a while, but the two were finally able to understand one another and embrace each other as old friends. Just before the hug, Smith said an extremely heartfelt statement about Janet, and then the two apologized to each other. 

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.

What are your views on the long-waited reconciliation of Will Smith and Janet Hubert? Let us know in the comments. In the meantime, you can always rewatch The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air streaming on Netflix.



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