The story of Janet Hubert is one of the saddest in Hollywood. The actress rose to prominence as the original Aunt Viv on Will Smith’s breakout show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Hubert was eventually replaced and spent years fighting to tell her story and clear her name. Janet Hubert is now letting people know that while a life lived in truth is the most honest life; one lived in anger can destroy you. Hubert is currently dealing with some health issues and took to social media to spread a message of forgiveness from her hospital bed.
Last year, the cast of Will Smith’s Fresh Prince reunited for an HBO Max special. In it, both women who portrayed Aunt Viv joined the cast to discuss the show’s history, legacy, and exactly what went on behind the scenes. Hubert played Aunt Viv for three seasons on the show. During the 3rd, she had become pregnant and was having issues at home and in her personal life. As a result, the mother-to-be was no longer enjoying working on the show and struggled to sort things out.
While reports at the time stated that Hubert had been fired, the actress says that what truly happened was they had offered her a “bad deal.” According to Hubert, they had made plans to cut her salary. At the time, her husband was out of work in addition to their new baby. Hubert says she was also not allowed to work anywhere else while on the show, meaning it was her only source of income. Hubert refused the deal and was axed.
Rather than renegotiate with Janet, the network opted to move on with a new actress to play the role. This deeply hurt Hubert, and as a result, became very unprofessional on set during her last day’s filming. Hubert said she stopped talking to everyone because she was unsure who she could trust. The actress was told that Smith ultimately made the call to dismiss her, branding her “difficult.” According to Hubert, that was the “kiss of death” for her. Being a black woman in Hollywood with the reputation of being difficult meant that Janet saw little to no work and was “disowned” by the cast, her family, and the acting community at large.
Hashing things out with Will Smith during the HBO special helped shed new light on Hubert and reignite interest in her career. While she could find peace from the unfortunate situation, Janet Hubert is now letting fans know that what’s more important than being angry is having that peace. In a since-deleted post from her IG account with a picture of her and Will Smith on the set of the HBO Max special, Hubert said, “Don’t waste precious time, people in anger.”
The former Aunt Viv went on to tell Will Smith she loves him and encouraged readers to fight for truth no matter how long it may take. Despite sharing the words of encouragement, Hubert didn’t explain why she was hospitalized but appeared to be in good spirits while recovering. The post has since been deleted, but not before other social media outlets were able to capture screenshots.