Original Aunt Viv Won't Be Left Out Of 'Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air' Reunion

Will Smith shared a sneak peek of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast reunion Thursday that brought the fictional Banks family back to their California home after 30 years.

Still, fans can’t help but happily freak out that Janet Hubert, the actress who played the original Aunt Viv in the 90s series, was included in the festivities. Smith shared a picture of him setting next to Hubert — a monumental occasion, considering the two hadn’t sat down in 27 years.

It’s no secret the two feuded for decades. Hubert, who played Aunt Viv for three seasons before being replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid, claimed that she not only had creative differences with Smith, but also alleged she was fired for getting pregnant. Smith also wasn’t shy about his difficulties working with Hubert.

But later on when Hubert criticized Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, for boycotting the Oscars in 2016, Smith defended Hubert, calling her “brilliant” in a BBC Radio interview.

“I think when you make a show, anytime you make a change, it’s going to be excruciating and painful. I think that Janet Hubert Whitten brought a really powerful dignity to the show,” Smith said. “I think as an artist, there’s so many things that she does: She sings, she dances, she’s like a really powerful artist. So I loved what she brought to The Fresh Prince.”

Another picture Smith shared Thursday features him posing alongside his Fresh Prince co-stars Reid, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Alfonso Ribeiro and his close friend and recurring co-star DJ Jazzy Jeff. 

“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,” wrote Smith in the caption on Instagram, referencing the late actor James Avery, who played Uncle Phil.

Produced by Smith’s production company Westbrook Media, the sentimental reunion special, set to air on HBO Max around Thanksgiving, will be filled with comedy, music, dancing and many special surprise guests, HBO Max said. The reunion will air exclusively on the streamer, where each of the classic sitcom’s 148 episodes, spanning all six seasons, are available to stream.

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