The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion had a lot to live up to, and it definitely delivered in all respects. The special offered plenty of nostalgia and highlighted aspects of the classic sitcom that many may not have been aware of. Of course, the aspect of the reunion many fans were most anxious about was the long-awaited reunion between Will Smith and Janet Hubert, who originated the role of Vivian Banks. It was a raw conversation, especially since Hubert didn’t hold back when explaining the true reason for her leaving the show.
During the third season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (her last on the show), Janet Hubert was pregnant, a development that was written into the show. The actress explained that this caused a bit of “friction” behind the scenes, but things really came to a head when she was offered an unsatisfactory new deal:
When Janet Hubert departed the show in 1993, it was widely reported that she was fired, though we now know that she actually made the choice to leave the show. During the special (opens in new tab), Hubert further explained how her departure had long-lasting effects on her career and personal life:
Many have long discussed the reported rift between Janet Hubert and Will Smith and, in the special, the actor also opened up about his part in Hubert’s exit. When speaking on the subject, he admitted that he could have been more “sensitive” to what Hubert was going through:
The conversation between the two actors proved to be one of the most emotionally powerful moments in the entire special and would end with the two embracing in reconciliation. Not only that, but Hubert also reunited with her fellow Fresh Prince alums and met fellow Aunt Viv actress Daphne Maxwell Reid for the first time.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a true achievement not only because it captured the magic that made the show so special but because it also beautifully displayed the bond these actors share. And the touching reunion between Smith and Hubert was truly the icing on the cake.
If you haven’t already, check out The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion on HBO Max.
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