That Time Will Smith Yelled F-Bombs At An NBC Exec Over A Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air Scene

Will Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
(Image credit: NBC)

Will Smith seems to have done it all and, now, may of his experiences are being recounted in his new memoir, Will. The book tells intriguing and heartbreaking stories from the highly successful entertainer's life and even features some major behind-the-scenes details that have only now just been revealed. And according to one part in the book, there was a very tense moment related to his work on NBC's The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. As it turns out, Smith once got into a heated conversation with an exec, which resulted in the rapper dropping multiple f-bombs.

As explained in Will, the then 22-year-old actor apparently didn’t like a particular scene in one of the episodes and made some changes to the script as a result. The alterations resulted in the star, his producing partner James Lassiter and producers Benny Medina and Jeff Pollack getting called into an executive’s office. And needless to say, it went downhill from there. Apparently, the exec was so upset with the change that the young rapper thought thought the man would end up taking a "swing on" him. He went on to recall:

JL looks at me as if to say, I got my eye on him-if he even flinches, I got you. 'Hundreds of million of dollars, multiple partners, a shit-ton of fucking veterans of the business… and you get to decide what the words are?’ At this point, he has circled behind the other couch and behind JL. I give JL the same look he gave me. If he even flinches, I got you.

As the King Richard star explained, things only got more heated, as even more f-bombs were thrown around. At this point, it seemed like the war of words was about to transform into a fist fight:

I jump up and spin, stepping around the couch, coming face-to-face with the exec. ‘What the fuck you wanna do, bitch?’ I sneered. JL jumps up, now fully brandishing the snow globe… ‘Who the fuck is you talkin’ to?’ I woofed at the executive. In retrospect, I did notice that the man’s eyes were completely surrendered and that he had no idea what was happening. He clearly had never been called a bitch in his life and wanted no beef whatsoever. ... ‘Who the fuck is you squarin’ off on?’ I was fully in it now.

In the world of Hollywood, tensions can definitely run high, but this seems like a whole other thing. the Fresh Prince set wasn't without its share of drama (like the Janet Hubert situation), but this sounds like something else entirely. In the book, Will Smith further acknowledged that he only became more upset as the conversation went on. And at the same time, the exec began to cool off, due to a recent back injury:

‘Will, uhm, clearly we’ve gotten off on the wrong foot, here,’ he said sweetly, his left hand now holding his lower back. ‘You damn right! You standin’ up screamin’ on motherfuckers. Sit down when you talk to me.’ ... ‘But, Will,’ he said, even more sweetly, ‘I just had major back surgery and the doctor told me that I should stand up when I’m…’ ... 'You gon’ sit the fuck down when you talk to me,’ I growled. ... ‘But, Will, the doc…’ ... ‘SIT. THE. FUCK. DOWN!'

Fortunately, though, the ordeal ended without any kind of actual violence. Nevertheless, the situation left the Philadelphia-born star a bit shaken. He immediately reached out to show producer Quincy Jones, who ultimately managed to ease the young man's nerves by explaining to him that he'd just experienced "creative differences."

The veteran star has definitely revealed some interesting moments in his new book. In one section, he revealed that he actually considered killing his father due to the childhood trauma he experienced at his hands. And in regard to Fresh Prince, he also explained that he and legendary actor John Amos once had a deep conversation, which helped him realize when it was time to end the popular sitcom

This is certainly a lot to take in, though you can't help but applaud Will Smith's desire to be candid about all of it. And ultimately, it would seem that he's learned from each and every one of the experiences. The circumstance may have been rough at the time, but he certainly powered through and created some timeless art, including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. You can revisit the show by streaming it on HBO Max. 

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.