How The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’s Original Aunt Viv Actress Felt About Will Smith’s Red Table Takeover

Will Smith as himself and Janet Hubert as Vivian Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion provided fans with a number of sweet moments, but none was arguably better than the conversation between Will Smith and original Aunt Viv actress Janet Hubert. A reunion 27 years in the making, the discussion saw the two get raw about their decades-long feud and ultimately bury the hatchet. Following this, Smith also took over an episode of his wife and daughter’s web series, Red Table Talk, to discuss his former conflict with Hubert. The actress is well aware of the new episode, and she revealed her feelings on it.

Janet Hubert revealed that she was somewhat nervous when she first heard that Will Smith was going to discuss their feud on Red Table Talk. However, she explained to KTLA that she was ultimately very moved by how her former co-star handled the emotional conversation:

I came home and started to get a little bit nervous about the whole Red Table takeover. And when I saw it, and when I saw what Will did, I was absolutely so moved that I couldn’t watch it. I ended up turning it off and running away from the computer because generally I don’t show that kind of vulnerability. But to see him say what he said about his own pain, what he was going through and what I was going through at the same. We were going through the same thing but at different times. So I was compelled to finally step back in front of the camera to do an interview. It’s time. It was time.

During the latest installment of Red Table Talk, Will Smith was incredibly candid about his relationship with Janet Hubert. He even welcomed clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula, who helped him unpack his treatment of Hubert when they were working on the show. The episode also included scenes from Smith and Hubert’s conversation that didn’t make it into the reunion special.

Given how deep the special Red Table Talk episode was, it’s easy to see how it would have been overwhelming for Hubert to watch. But thankfully, it sounds like it was just as cathartic for her as it was for Smith.

Will Smith as himself and Janet Hubert as Vivian Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Janet Hubert left The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1993 after the show’s third season and, in the reunion special, she was able to set the record straight on the circumstances surrounding her departure. While many believed she was fired from the show, she clarified that she was actually offered the opportunity to remain on the hit series. However, she says she was given a “bad deal,” which would have resulted in a salary cut. With this, she exited the show on her own and hadn’t spoken to Smith since.

I don’t think many Fresh Prince fans were sure they’d ever see Will Smith and Janet Hubert mend fences, but it’s so great that they did. Even though 2020 has been a rough year, we can, at the very least, mark it as the year that Will and Aunt Viv mended fences.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and the reunion special are available to stream on HBO Max.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.