Will Smith gives his two cents on ‘which Aunt Viv was better’ Fresh Prince debate

'I think that Janet Hubert Whitten brought a really powerful dignity to the show.'

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The Independent Culture

Which Aunt Viv was better, seasons 1 to 3’s Janet Hubert-Whitten or season 4 to 6’s Daphne Maxwell Reid? It’s something that comes up time and time again with Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fans, given the two actors played the parts very differently.

BBC Radio 1Xtra attempted to get Will Smith to pick the performance he preferred this week, but he responded: “I think that both of the Aunt Vivs were really, really fantastic.”

He did however, perhaps tellingly, exalt Hubert-Whitten, saying: When you make a show, anytime you make a change, it's going to be excruciating and painful. I think that Janet Hubert Whitten brought a really powerful dignity to the show.

“She's brilliant... as an artist. She sings, she dances. She's, like, a really powerful artist. So I loved what she brought to The Fresh Prince.”


Smith’s answer was very diplomatic, given Hubert-Whitten recently trashed talk him on Facebook.

Discussing Jada Pinkett Smith’s boycotting of this year’s Oscars over the lack of diversity, she said: ”Does your man not have a mouth of his own with which to speak?”, adding that she thought Will “didn’t deserve a nomination” for Concussion.

Hubert-Whitten recently put her exit from the show down to her contract banning her from working elsewhere and a “bit of a [cast feud]”.