The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” 30th anniversary reunion special premiered on HBO Max last night, and one thing was truly a shock. Will and Aunt Viv buried the hatchet! Will and Janet Hubert had not said a word to each other — until now. Will says he could not sit there and acknowledge the show and it’s impact on the world without including her in it. Janet played Aunt Viv for the first three seasons, but was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid after she was fired. On the special, Janet said that she’d gotten pregnant during the third season, and was in an abusive relationship. She was having a rough time, and on top of that, the show cut her salary, and offered her a “really bad deal” to continue. She said she couldn’t accept that, and when she told the producers, they just dumped her and re-cast the role. Will claimed he didn’t know the whole story, although it’s possible that he knew about the contract stand-off, because years ago, he said that Janet left because she wanted it to be the “Aunt Viv of Bel-Air” show. She wasn’t there to just be nice, she todl Will to his face “I was hurt deeply . . . you took all of that away from me . . . with your words. Words can kill. I lost everything. Reputation. Everything. I understand you were able to move forward, but you know those words, calling a Black woman difficult in Hollywood, is the kiss of death. And it’s hard enough being a dark-skinned Black woman in this business.” They both apologized, and hugged.
Image via: HBO MAX