27 years after she controversially left the show, Janet Hubert has reconciled with Will Smith during the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" reunion special that aired on HBO max in the states this Wednesday.
After starring as Aunt Viv for the first three seasons, tensions between Hubert and Will Smith grew and evenually boiled over, resulting in Hubert being pushed out of the show.
The two traded jabs in the press for decades, but in the newly aired Fresh Prince reunion show the pair met for the first time since Hubert left the show in an attempt to reconcile their long term beef.
It is in this segment of the show that we learn how truly tough the third season was for Hubert, who revealed that in addition to being pregnant, she was also in an abusive marriage at the time.
“I wasn’t unprofessional on the set; I just stopped talking to everybody, because I didn’t know who to trust, because I had been banished. And they said it was you who banished me,” she tells Smith.
“You took all that away from me with your words, and words can kill,” she says. “Calling a Black woman ‘difficult’ in Hollywood is the kiss of death. And it’s hard enough for a dark-skinned Black woman in this business.”
Smith then confesses to wrongfully contributing to that situation, admitting that “there was a certain foundational element that was broken when Janet left” the series. “She set a standard on this show that’s an integral part of the success of ‘The Fresh Prince.’”
Smith then shares his thanks to Hubert for opening up about the pain she was going through at that time: [It] was the first time I was ever able to see how much pain she is in and was in and just what she was carrying, what she was trying to hide, what she was trying to hold on to,” he says later to the rest of the cast.
“I can see now the level of pain and the level of struggle that it was for you just to show up every day” he tells Hubert.
Hubert then went on to clear the air on her exit from the show, insisting that she was not fired. She went on to say that she was "trapped" after her salary was reduced in the third season, especially considering she had a newborn baby and a husband out of work.
“When I left the show, I had this new baby and no one,” said Hubert. “Family disowned me. Hollywood disowned me. My family said, ‘You’ve ruined our name.’”
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air reunion special is available only on HBO Max, but you can check out the trailer up top.