Will Smith’s emotional conversation with Janet Hubert during Wednesday’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast reunion already felt like a Red Table Talk. On Friday, the actor pulled a full Jada and took himself to the literal Red Table to discuss why, exactly, he did the original Aunt Viv so dirty nearly thirty years ago. Smith joined YouTube’s Dr. Ramani Durvasula to review extended clips of his sit-down with Hubert during the reunion and dig deep into his behavior as a rising sitcom star, which Hubert says ruined her career and resulted in her being replaced on Fresh Prince by actress Daphne Maxwell Reid.
Smith talks at length about the effects of being raised by his abusive father, his ignorance when it came to the power of his influence on the show’s production, and his deep sense of insecurity. “On my ‘little boy in me’ level, I needed Mommy to think I was great,” he says, of wanting Hubert’s approval. “And then once I realized that she didn’t, my dragon woke up.” When the actress disapproved of his behavior, Smith says, he lashed out at her in a way Hubert says proved cataclysmic to her professional future. As she tells Smith during their reunion conversation, “You’re the big star, you know? I was just the little Black bitch.”
In the end, however, it seems both former costars got something out of making amends after decades of animosity. “I am so thankful for all the love being shown and the understanding,” Hubert tweeted Thursday. “Will and team let me participate in whatever I wanted and felt comfortable doing. After 27 years of disconnect we are all different people. It was great seeing everyone, life is too short!”