Hubert, who played the beloved aunt to streetwise Will on the show, was featured on “Fresh Prince” during its first three seasons. Once the fourth season began, Hubert was no longer on the show and was suddenly replaced by actress Daphne Maxwell Reid. Rumors swirled that Smith and Hubert butted heads over acting chops and the growing prevalence of Smith’s role on the show.
Shortly after Hubert’s departure in 1993, Smith suggested the actress left due to jealousy.
“I can say straight up that Janet Hubert wanted the show to be The Aunt Viv of Bel-Air Show,” he told an Atlanta radio station. “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.”
Years later, Hubert in 2011 made comments about Smith, expressing doubt that a reunion would happen and referring to him as an “egomaniac.”
Hubert said Smith’s comments back then affected her career. Despite the toll on her career, she also apologized to Smith for her interviews lambasting him.
“I lost everything. Reputation. Everything. And 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. But I felt that it was necessary for us to finally move forward. And I’m sorry that I have blasted you to pieces.”
The reunion special is now available on HBO Max. Here’s a trailer for the special.