Will Smith and Janet Hubert, who played Aunt Viv for three seasons of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, have finally made amends—no red table talk required. The former co-stars, who hadn't been photographed together in approximately 27 years, reunited on the 30th anniversary of their hit sitcom. Smith posted about the reunion on Instagram and teased an upcoming HBO Max special with the cast.
"Today is exactly 30 YEARS since The @FreshPrince of Bel-Air debuted! So we’re doin’ something for y’all… a for real Banks Family Reunion is comin’ soon to @HBOmax! RIP James. #FreshPrince30th," Smith captioned photos of himself and the cast on Instagram. His caption refers to James Avery, who played Uncle Phil on the show and died in 2013. The first picture shows Smith back in the Banks residence alongside Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Aunt Viv from seasons 4 to 6), Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), and DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jazz).
While seeing the Banks family assembled in the first photo was exciting enough, a lone image of Smith and Hubert smiling and talking in an auditorium raised eyebrows. Hubert famously left the show in 1993 after playing Aunt Viv for three seasons on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She later addressed her exit from the series in the 2009 memoir, Perfection Is Not a Sitcom Mom and has blamed Smith for her ouster in the years since.
"There will never be a reunion," Hubert told TMZ in 2011, “as I will never do anything with an asshole like Will Smith.” She added, "He is still an egomaniac and has not grown up. This constant reunion thing will never ever happen in my lifetime unless there is an apology, which he doesn't know the word."
Two years later, she seemed more open to reconciliation, telling HuffPost, “I would say to him, 'We need to heal this. You’ve done some things, you’ve said some things, that were totally untrue and you know that they were untrue. I’ve said some things that I probably should have never said…I’m tired. Aren’t you tired, Will?'" In that same interview, she maintained that Smith thought, "We’re just gonna replace her and act like nothing happened."
It seems that conflict has been resolved. The unscripted HBO Max special is set to air around Thanksgiving, per Variety. It's one of several cast reunions in the works at HBO Max, The long-awaited Friends reunion has still not been filmed amid coronavirus concerns.
But Fresh Prince fans can watch all six seasons of the sitcom on HBO Max and look forward to a reboot of the series on Peacock.
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