The healing continues for Will Smith following an emotional sit-down with his former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star Janet Hubert.
As we reported, the pair of actors finally ended their decades-long feud during the epic reunion special, which aired earlier this week on HBO Max. And during the latest episode of Red Table Talk, Will reflected on it all — and dove deeper into how the two ever got to such a contentious place.
The now 52-year-old Prince sat down with psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula, who was also present during his meeting with Hubert. Before unpacking Will’s pain, the two watched previously unaired footage from his conversation with Janet where she detailed the horrific treatment she received after leaving the show.
With a mortgage, a new business, a new baby, and a husband who wasn’t working at the time, Hubert was essentially backed into a corner and fighting for her life after being labeled “difficult” within the industry by her former co-star. She explained:
“Black people beat my ass. They beat my son’s ass. Somebody smashed a cookie in my son’s face and said, ‘Your mother is a bitch.’ People send me hateful Instagrams, ‘Aren’t you dead yet?’ ‘I love Will, why don’t you just die?’ It was hard. I promised my dad I would clear my name because it’s his name and my family said you’ve ruined our name. But you’re the big star, I’m just a little Black bitch.”
Hubert’s words forced Will to examine his own behavior at the time, which he now attributes to being a 21-year-old navigating trouble at home and trying to do anything he could to find success:
“My father was violent in my house. So a part of the whole creation of Will Smith, the joking, fun, silly, was to make sure my father was entertained enough not to hurt my mother or anybody in the house.”
It was this desire for safety, and an ensuing desire for approval from women, that Smith said he then projected onto his TV family:
“The little boy in me level, with Hubert, I needed Mommy to think I was great. And when I realized she didn’t, my dragon woke up.”
He went on to say he felt “threatened” by Janet at the time because he, too, was suffering financially with $3 million in back tax debt and the Fresh Prince was essentially everything he had. Still, the star openly regrets how he handled himself:
“I’m not arrogant enough to think my actions and behavior were perfect. My actions and behavior were flawed and hurtful. Probably there’s nobody on Earth who’d say I hurt them that bad.”
Good thing Will has been learning through relationships with Jada & Willow the value of protecting women and not attacking them:
“It’s not who I want to be and it’s not how I want to make people feel”
What a powerful and thought-provoking conversation we can all learn something from.
WATCH more from the pair’s conversation in full (below):
Speaking of healing and burying the hatchet, Smith wasn’t the only core cast member who beefed with the OG Aunt Viv. Hubert also famously trashed Alfonso Riberio (Carlton Banks) in the press whenever possible, even referring to him as “Will’s tampon” at one point!
Many fans watching the special noticed Ribeiro was not seen at all once Hubert showed up to set and believed he deliberately excused himself to avoid the actress. However, while appearing on The Tamron Hall Show earlier this week — before anyone knew the extent of Hubert’s appearance on the reunion — Alfonso reportedly said he didn’t see her because he had to film America’s Funniest Home Videos, of which he is the host.
Janet also backed that up while responding to a fan on Twitter who asked:
“Don’t think I didn’t notice that Alfonzo left the set once Janet came on. I guess all old wounds haven’t healed yet”
To which she replied:
“Don’t assume, he was working and I wasn’t there. Let it go sweetie, we have.”
She also publicly thanked fans for the outpouring of support after everyone finally made up:
#FreshPrinceReunion I am so thankful for all the love being shown and the understanding. Will and team let me participate in whatever I wanted and felt comfortable doing. After 27 years of disconnect we are all different people. It was great seeing everyone, life is too short! pic.twitter.com/2vwDIgH1lV
— Janet Hubert (@OGJanetHubert) November 20, 2020
Perezcious TV addicts, did U catch the big reunion? Settling this old feud was undoubtedly the main event, but we want to know, what was your favorite part about seeing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air stars get back together again? Let us know (below) in the comments!
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