ByGenevieve Van Voorhis, writer at
Game of Thrones, ASOUE, and all things '00s. Twitter: @gen_vanvee Email: [email protected]
Genevieve Van Voorhis

On Monday, Alfonso Ribeiro a.k.a. Carlton Banks shared a seemingly innocent snap of the Fresh Prince family reunited for a day in Malibu. While the internet reveled in the nostalgia and floated the idea of a Fresh Prince reunion, there was one person that wasn't quite feeling the warm and fuzzies. Janet Hubert, the original Aunt Viv from 1990 – 1993, left the show after Season 3 due "creative differences" with that set the stage for a two-decades-long helping of beef. And today, it seems that Aunt Viv the First is still a little salty about the whole ordeal.

Hubert shared a scathing Facebook post — which has since been deleted — throwing shade at her former on-screen fam:

[Credit: Blacktress Janet Hubert via Facebook]
[Credit: Blacktress Janet Hubert via Facebook]

It's no secret that there's no love lost between Janet Hubert and Will Smith and his "ass wipe," Alfonso Ribeiro. In 2014, Hubert told Omg! Insider that on the set of Fresh Prince, the pair of young male actors made life extremely difficult for her:

"[They did] some heinous, horrible things to me—they were like bad kids, Will and Alfonso—especially Alfonso. He said that I was crazy and nobody wanted to go to lunch with me."

Back in 1993, while the beef was first boiling over, Will Smith made some remarks to an Atlanta radio station to try and deflect some of the heat away from himself:

'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' [Credit: NBC]
'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' [Credit: NBC]

"I can say straight up that Janet Hubert wanted the show to be The Aunt Viv of Bel Air Show because I know she is going to dog me in the press. She has basically gone from a quarter of a million dollars a year to nothing. She's mad now but she's been mad all along. She said once, 'I've been in the business for 10 years and this snotty-nosed punk comes along and gets a show.' No matter what, to her I'm just the Antichrist."

That was hardly the last public statement on the matter, but let's fast-forward 23 years. Hubert herself released a Facebook video just last year around Oscar time, just after Jada Pinket Smith announced she'd be boycotting because of the controversy. In that video, Hubert explained her reasons for departing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:

It starts around 1:54.

"I seem to recall, twenty-maybe-six, -seven years go—25, whatever it was—I don't even remember. I seem to remember at option time coming to you and saying, 'You know what, Will? You're the star of the show. Why don't we all get together and, with you, maybe we could get a little raise? Maybe the network since the show is, you know, such a hit and you being the star of the show, your influence would help us greatly, like they did on Friends. Like white shows do!' Remember that? Do you remember that, 'cause I do. Mmm.

And your response to me was, 'My deal is my deal and y'all's deal is y'all's deal. Well karma must be a bitch because now here you are."

'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' [Credit: NBC]
'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' [Credit: NBC]

The cast of Friends did join forces to negotiate each actor receiving a massive salary of $1 million per episode, but that was in 2002 — nine years after Hubert left Fresh Prince. That's not to say that the cast of Fresh Prince couldn't have worked together to bargain for a raise, but it was a pretty radical suggestion at the time.

Later, in an interview with BBC's Radio 1Xtra, Will Smith responded to Hubert's vid with nothing but good thoughts — but no apology either:

"I think that Janet Hubert brought a really powerful dignity to [The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air]. I think she’s brilliant. I think as an artist, there’s so many things that she does. She sings, she dances, she’s like a really powerful artist. I love what she brought to the Fresh Prince."

Just in case you forgot how great the Aunt Viv 1.0 was, here's a little reminder:

Clearly, it's going to take a little more than a few compliments to digest this beef. In the meantime, you can order Hubert's book, Perfection Is Not A Sitcom Mom on Amazon.

'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' [Credit: NBC]
'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' [Credit: NBC]


Whose side are you on in this aged beef?


Latest from our Creators