Janet Hubert and Will Smith were spotted in a candid photo unleashed in preparation of the upcoming special.
On Thursday evening, Smith shared photos from the sitcom’s 30th-anniversary special. In one image Hubert and Smith are captured candidly smiling. While in another shot on the original set Will is reunited with the original cast members Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro, and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Accompanying the photos was also a tribute to Uncle Phil played by James Avery who died at the age of 68 in 2014. “RIP James. #FreshPrince30th.”
The first image was a bit of a surprise for fans as Hubert has expressed exactly why she left the series. In the past, she’s made it clear she parted ways because Smith was an “egomaniac” who ruined her career.
Hubert was cherished as the original Aunt Viv from 1990-1993 before she was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid in season 4. Long story short, she left on bad terms. In 2011 per Complex she said, “There will never be a reunion as I will never do anything with an asshole like Will Smith.” Hubert added, “He is still an egomaniac and has not grown up.”
In 1993, Smith released a statement alleging Hubert left solely due to jealousy. “I can say straight up that Janet Hubert wanted the show to be The Aunt Viv of Bel-Air Show,” Will said on an Atlanta radio station. “She’s mad now but she’s been mad all along. She said once, ‘I’ve been in the business for 10 years and this snotty-nosed punk comes along and gets a show.’ No matter what, to her I’m just the AntiChrist.”
We’re assuming Smith and Hubert are now on good terms as there’d be no point in casting her again. The reunion will be the first time the duo have paired up in 27 years. Airing on HBO Max, the special has been described as a “funny and heartfelt night full of music, dancing, and more special surprise guests.”
The Prince of Bel-Air reunion special is set to premiere sometime around Thanksgiving. Take a look at fan’s reactions below.
The real Aunt Viv spent years DRAGGING Will Smith and now they’re reuniting?! This is must see TV pic.twitter.com/KqfRm43qsL
— Joshua Chenault (@joshuachenault1) September 11, 2020
We’re really about to see a sit down between Will Smith and The Real Aunt Viv.
The emotions. pic.twitter.com/PDuF6soxkP
— Jessica Fyre💫✨ (@TheJessieWoo) September 11, 2020
Will Smith and OG Aunt Viv (Janet Hubert) for the Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air reunion. Hell done froze over! pic.twitter.com/Tipxj6WV0F
— Ronald Isley (@yoyotrav) September 10, 2020
will Smith got both aunt vivs for the fresh prince of bel air reunion special pic.twitter.com/ZK3bLjcRNV
— saf (@svybtch) September 11, 2020
A Janet Hubert (dark skinned Aunt Viv) and Will Smith reunion is NOT something that I saw on my 2020 forecast! pic.twitter.com/a5agAb9GtJ
— 👑 (@OmgKenActually) September 10, 2020