September 11, 2020
Photo by Chris Cuffaio/NBCU Photo Bank
‘Now this is a story all about how’ the original Aunt Viv joins the cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for a reunion special!
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the hit NBC sitcom, Will Smith shared a sneak peek of the HBO Max reunion special on Instagram. Although fans were eager to see the beloved Banks family together again, they were shocked by Janet Hubert‘s appearance — the titular Aunt Viv for the first three seasons before she was let go and replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid.
The Bad Boys for Life actor sat down with the actress for the first time in 27 years for what HBO Max recounts as “an emotional reunion and a candid conversation.” According to a video Hubert posted to YouTube in 2016, the historic feud began when the 51-year-old actor didn’t help her and other castmates renegotiate their salaries.
“I seem to remember at option time, coming to you and saying, ‘you know what Will, you’re the star of the show,'” she recalled. “Why don’t we all get together and with you maybe we could get a little raise.” In which Hubert says his response was, “My deal is my deal, and y’alls deal is y’alls deal.”
Daphne Maxwell Reid, Karyn Parson, Alfonso Ribeiro, Joseph Marcell, Tatyana Ali, and DJ Jazzy Jeff joined Smith for a selfie on the recreated set of the Banks’ Bel-Air mansion. He made sure to pay homage to James Avery, who passed in 2014 and portrayed the iconic Uncle Phil.
The reunion news comes a month after Smith revealed a dramatic reimagining of Fresh Prince was in the works. BEL-AIR is set in modern-day America and will follow Will’s character as he transitions from West Philadelphia to his new life in Bel-Air.
Tell us: Do you think Will Smith and Janet Hubert will finally address the fallout?