The Fresh Prince Of Belair had a reunion that brought tears to its long time viewers when the original “Aunt Viv,” Janet Hubert appeared alongside the her replacement Daphne Maxwell Reid.
Fans got emotional as Will Smith and Janet Hubert finally put their differences aside after decades of not seeing eye to eye. It was also hard on the individuals behind the characters people fell in love with.
“Well, this has been tough. Has it been tough for you?” Hubert asked Smith during the Fresh Prince reunion special on HBO Max.
“Yes, it has,” Smith said in response.
“I just wanted to know one thing: Why?” Hubert continued. “Why so far? You guys went so far. I lost so much. How do we heal that?”
Hubert played Smith’s aunt during the first three seasons of the hit series. She was replaced before season four by Daphne Maxwell Reid, and later blamed Smith for pushing her out.
“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,” Smith said in a radio interview at the time. “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 Anti-Christ.”
“He probably is responsible for my firing,” Hubert said in response to those Smith comments. “He has a lot of clout. It’s too bad that it’s a Black-on-Black attack. I have tried not to name names. I have more class than that. I wish Will would tell the truth. If you’re going to talk, tell the truth. He has gotten me fired from the show, and now he’s trying to get my career snatched away from me.”
All that past pain that bubbled up was finally met with relief during the reunion show. Now, in 2022, there is a dramatic reboot with all your favorite characters from the original such as Hilary Banks played by Coco Jones, but there are some modern day twists to their personalities. The Bel-air series that airs on Peacock has met some critical and viewer praise for its representation of a wealthy black family.
It has now been announced that former cast members of the original ‘Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’, Daphne Maxwell Reid (Aunt Vivian) & Vernee Watson-Johnson will return but fans want to know, what about Janet Hubert? Comedy Hype looks into the topic in the video below.
Cassandra Freeman who plays the new “Aunt Viv” on Belair spoke with Looper about how she would portray the iconic character.
“[Co-writer/executive producer] Morgan Cooper told us that we didn’t have to fill the shoes, we got to make our own shoes,” actress Cassandra Freeman (who plays Aunt Viv) revealed. “Because those shoes … are so much a part of the culture, they’re tattooed on our brain. It was much more about, ‘Who are these people today in 2022?’ A lot of things stay the same, and then some real big subtleties might change along the way.”
As Freeman explained, “With her, it’s about her art career — that was a big thing — and about what happens to a woman when she puts her career on the back burner to support her husband’s dream and to support her kids. That’s something that we all know about. I don’t think we’ve seen it through the prism of someone who looks like me, necessarily.”
Social media has also given their take on the new “Aunt Viv” and more as she started trending on March 10th, 2022.
Aunt Viv & Uncle Philip “radical honesty” dialogue was so real. They both misunderstood each other’s intentions but at the end of the day they are trying their best. #BelAir
— … (@realdowntovenus) March 10, 2022
I actually really enjoyed watching Aunt Viv and Uncle Phil talk through their issues this episode. She learned that her husband did truly enjoy watching her paint but just hated seeing her struggle and how it took a heavy toll on her health. Communication is key 🔑💛 #BelAir
— Mrs.Smith 💙 (@chanellyyyy___) March 10, 2022
OMG AUNT VIV #BelAir pic.twitter.com/3FxI1e9yPL
— lilakoi’s right hand (@lec0it) March 10, 2022
Oh aunt Viv is gonna cheat #BelAir pic.twitter.com/Q14oPJCIa1
— Charlene M (@chika1sg0lden) March 10, 2022
This Aunt Viv was the best hands down. She was poise, gracious, classy, beautiful, educated, well spoken, could dress her ass off, she could sing, she could dance, she wasn’t going for no BS, like what couldn’t she do!?
Janet Hubert needs her flowers for this role ♥️ pic.twitter.com/5Jv2lAqajW
— Jill (@jilljonsonn) March 8, 2022
The only person they kept the same was Aunt Viv cause they ain’t want Janet Hubert slandering them for the next two decades again 😂 https://t.co/BnYfafRA1Y
— Miss One (@avionaa_) March 4, 2022
#BelAir Nu Aunt Viv tapped into her inner Janet Hubert in this episode. pic.twitter.com/iu7ah1tjAi
— Gregory Lewis (@Gregpuna) March 3, 2022