‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’: This Is How Will Smith Got Janet Hubert To Join the HBO Max Reunion After Years of Feuding

When The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air premiered back in 1990, it became a massive success. The sitcom followed 17-year-old Will (Will Smith), a Philadephia native who is shipped across the country to live with his affluent aunt and uncle in Bel-Air.

The series, which aired for six seasons, was hilarious but with thespians like the late James Avery who played Uncle Phil, it also explored social issues that are still relevant today. However, behind the scenes, there was major drama on the show. Actor Janet Hubert exited the series after Season 3 and was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid for the duration of the show.

It has been long-documented that Hubert’s exit was due to the tension between herself and Smith. Hubert has never had positive things to say about the Gemini Man actor and she has never attended a Fresh Prince reunion in the past. Therefore, fans were shook when Smith posted a photo of himself with the Julliard alum on the HBO Max reunion set.

Will Smith and Janet Hubert have been feuding since ‘The Fresh Prince’ was on air

On-screen, the relationship between Aunt Viv and Will was always close-knit. In fact, she often defended her rambunctious nephew to Uncle Phil. However, in real life, Smith and Hubert’s relationship was contentious. Though Smith has only spoken positively about Hubert in recent years, back in 1993, he had a mouthful to say about her. He told an Atlanta radio show via  E! News,

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. 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 Antichrist.

Meanwhile, Hubert has never held her tongue about her disdain for Smith. She has always openly blamed the Ali actor for her exit from Fresh Prince and in 2011 she told TMZ, “There would never be a reunion as I will never do anything with an a**hole like Will Smith.”

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Will Smith has been called a hypocrite for his feud with Janet Hubert

Over the years, and following the passing of James Avery in 2014, The Fresh Prince cast has done various reunions. In April, amid the coronavirus pandemic, Smith united the cast for Instagram Live and to pay tribute to Avery.

However, though Smith says that he had “nothing but love” for Hubert, fans quickly called the actor a hypocrite for preaching positivity without healing the wounds between himself and his former co-star.

This is how Will Smith convinced Janet Hubert to join the HBO Max reunion

When HBO Max announced a The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special slated for Thanksgiving release to commemorate 30 years, people assumed Hubert would be MIA. However, on Spet. 10, Smith posted a photo of himself and Hubert having a candid convo at the reunion, fans were floored.

According to the HBO Max press release, Smith surprised the Fresh Prince cast when he revealed he’d had a separate conversation with Hubert so they could has things out. The experience was described as “an emotional reunion and a candid conversation.”

We’re just glad everyone is in a better palace.