It’s been 27 years since Will Smith and Janet Hubert, known forever in our hearts as Original Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, have talked and frankly I’m shocked Jada Pinkett Smith hasn’t called her to The Red Table yet. Janet’s dark chaotic energy is both terrifying and exhilarating in equal measure. It would be a ratings bonanza! Janet and Will have been feuding for decades. Well, Janet’s been feuding, Will’s been cashing checks. Either way, Janet wasn’t invited to the red table, but she did sit down for a “candid conversation” with Will as part of the French Prince (per Dlisted code of conduct: typo and it stays) reunion special that will air on HBO Max. I guess Will wasn’t ready to have Janet come into his actual (fake) kitchen and risk getting a pot of boiling hot coffee poured in his lap (although you never know with the Smiths, it might be his kink).
Over the years, Janet has intimated via various outlets that Will is the reason her role as Aunt Viv was recast after three years with the much lighter-skinned Daphne Maxwell Reid, as if we wouldn’t know they switched out our deliciously bitter dark roast with Folgers. According to Entertainment Weekly:
On Thursday, the 30th anniversary of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air‘s premiere, Will Smith shared photos from the sitcom’s upcoming HBO Max reunion, which just began filming. And in a pleasant surprise, Smith revealed that he sat down with Janet Hubert, the actress who originated the role of Will’s Aunt Vivian on the show, for the first time in 27 years.
Hubert has evidently changed her tune from 2011, when she said, “There will never be a reunion.” In the past, the actress has slammed Smith for being an “egomaniac” and even for being responsible for her firing from Fresh Prince. Smith has also hit back, claiming that Hubert wanted the show to be “The Aunt Viv of Bel-Air.”
And? Sounds like a great fucking idea to me. Here’s Will’s post about the reunion and photo of Janet playing nice, presumably because HBO ran her a sizable check under the condition that she not pluck Will’s eyeballs out and use them as a garnish for her martini.
And judging from this Facebook post that Janet made on August 22nd, Will didn’t really have a choice in the matter. As you know, California and Oregon have been ravaged by wildfire over the past couple of weeks. The air quality is currently at dangerous levels and we are engulfed in smoke. Sure, it could be from the wildfires, or the smoke could be coming from Janet’s post declaring out-and-out war and taunting Will with #WelcomeToMyButcherBlock
Somehow I get the feeling we’re not going to get to the bottom of Will’s “strange, unsavory problems,” not on HBO’s dime at least. Will will probably come out of their reunion unscathed. But as for me, Original Aunt Viv can step on my neck anytime she likes.