During a one-off reunion on HBO Max, Hubert – who played the original Aunt Viv – reconciled with Smith after a 27 year-long feud, telling the Hollywood star how she believes he “banished” her while she was on the show..
Hubert appeared in a separate segment from the remainder of the cast, in which the pair ironed out their differences.
In the pre-recorded conversation, Hubert opened up about her decision to leave the show in 1993.
Smith then acknowledged making things difficult for Hubert, stating he felt like “everything was a threat to him” when he was on the show.
“I can see now the level of pain and the level of struggle that it was just for you to show up every day,” he said, to which Hubert responded: “But you took all of that away from me – with your words. Words can kill. I lost everything. Reputation. Everything. And I understand you were able to move forward, but you know those words, calling a Black woman ‘difficult’ in Hollywood, is the kiss of death.”
Fresh Prince fans were divided over Smith’s surprise admission.
On Twitter, one viewer wrote: “I respect Janet Hubert holding Will Smith accountable for his actions that led to her career/stall/demise.”
Another person added: “Poor woman. Much respect for Smith to admit fault in a way.”
However, one fan was not convinced, stating: “I’m just wondering what Will Smith thinks a decades late interview and/or half-a** apology is going to afford Janet Hubert when her reputation was irreversibly damaged and she was basically blacklisted from Hollywood? Shameful, because she is multitalented.”
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The reunion episode also featured Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Hubert's Aunt Viv replacement) and Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton).
At one stage, Smith grew teary during a tribute to James Avery, who played Uncle Phil. Avery died in 2013, aged 68.
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