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Will Smith and original Aunt Viv Janet Hubert reconcile in emotional Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion

  • Smith and Hubert ended their decades-long feud in a tense, roughly 15-minute segment taped for HBO Max's Fresh Prince reunion, which was released Wednesday. “I just wanted to know one thing: Why? Why so far? You guys went so far. I lost so much. How do we heal?” Hubert told Smith. In addition to Smith and Hubert meeting in-person for the first 27 years after trading barbs in the media, the special also features audition tapes, behind-the-scenes footage and a moving tribute to the late Uncle Phil actor James Avery. “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,” Hubert said in the special, according to the Los Angeles Times. “You took all that away from me with your words, and words can kill. 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 acknowledged that he wrongfully contributed to that situation and that “there was a certain foundational element that was broken when Janet left," adding: “She set a standard on this show that’s an integral part of the success of The Fresh Prince." Smith also said that based on his experience as a father who has experienced divorce, “I can see now the level of pain and the level of struggle that it was for you just to show up every day.” Hubert also revealed she wasn't fired from the series. Instead, Hubert said she was “trapped” after being offered a reduced salary in the third season, which stung even more with a newborn and a husband who was out of work. That led to Hubert opting to exit Fresh Prince and her role getting recast. “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.'" But she added: “I have to say, after 27 years, being here today and having the conversation that Will and I had together, it’s healing. I cannot tell you how unbelievable and wonderful it feels — I’m overwhelmed.” On Twitter, Hubert tweeted her appreciation for the reunion and the fan feedback. "Thank you all for the love...the understanding especially you Will. It was amazing seeing you all again," Hubert tweeted. "Be blessed, this is my story all about how...healing happened."

    TOPICS: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, HBO Max, Janet Hubert, Will Smith