“We’re just gonna replace her and act like nothing happened”: One Major 90’s Actress Claimed Will Smith Tried Getting Away With Getting Her Fired, ‘Demonized’ Her Career

"We're just gonna replace her and act like nothing happened": One Major 90's Actress Claimed Will Smith Tried Getting Away With Getting Her Fired, 'Demonized' Her Career
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Will Smith has left audiences completely captivated with his impeccable performances that are never restricted to just one genre. With a career spanning decades, he has explored several genres from comedy to dramatic roles thus establishing himself on the list of one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars.

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Will Smith
Actor, Will Smith

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However, along the way, he somehow ended up making long-standing feuds in his acting career with one being with his The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star, Janet Hubert. 

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Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-stars: Will Smith and Janet Hubert.

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During the early 1990s, Will Smith got his breakthrough with the leading role which is a fictionalized version of himself. Lasting six seasons, the sitcom gained major popularity but a major change was witnessed in its cast. Janet Hubert, who played the role of Vivian Banks, Will’s aunt was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid. For the unversed, Hubert has showcased her craft on both the stage and screens with the sitcom becoming one of the iconic performances. 

However, her sudden departure after working for three seasons felt odd to many but the actress later spilled the tea on why she was replaced. In an interview with Yahoo via USA Today, she claimed that the Emancipation star had a lot to do with her exit. 

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“[Smith] said ‘we’re just gonna replace her and act like nothing happened. Well, honey, that is not what happened, is it? The world has let me know that my place on that show was very, very, very loved.”

She further felt demonized over what happened at that time. She continued, 

“I felt demonized and beaten up and crucified for many many years, no one came forward in my defense.”

It was for sure that the duo shared an intense beef on-set which the actress talked about over the years. Not just Smith, other co-stars were also giving her cold treatment but The Fresh Prince had a significant impact on her. 

Janet Hubert and Will Smith Had Some Beef Going on Set

Janet Hubert and Will Smith
Janet Hubert and Will Smith

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The duo had a good relationship in the first two seasons of the hit sitcom however it started to fall thereafter. Both actors continued to blame one another for the fallout with Smith telling in an E! interview that she was jealous of his stardom, desiring to feature as the lead. 

“I can say straight up that Janet Hubert wanted the show to be ‘The Aunt Viv of Bel Air’ show because I know she is going to dog me in the press.”

Meanwhile, the actress claimed that the fallout seemed to have started when Smith became its producer. She recalled an instance when he was providing his co-stars’ acting notes which seemed to have hurt her. 

“You were telling me how a Black woman acts, but I happen to be a Black woman,” she told Eyewitness News ABC7NY.

She further mentioned, 

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“They told me I had to go into my dressing room in between takes because I wasn’t laughing at Will’s jokes.”

While many thought that she was fired from the show, it was a completely different story. 

Speaking in an interview program of WABC’s ‘Here & Now’ via the same source, she talked about getting a new contract which she turned down. While she hoped for negotiations, it never happened eventually. 

“They offered me 10 weeks of work and they said you can’t work anywhere else. My agent said you cannot accept this. They’ll come back, but they didn’t.”

Their feud continued for years before Smith eventually extended an apology for how he treated her on-set. 

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Source: USA Today, E!, Eyewitness News ABC7NY

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Written by Priya Sharma

Articles Published: 1078

Priya Sharma, Senior Content Writer and Social Media Manager at FandomWire and Animated Times. Having graduated in Journalism and Mass Communication, she possesses extensive expertise in crafting engaging and informative content. She has written over 2000 articles across Animated Times and FandomWire on pop culture, showing her dedication to delivering diverse and trending content to readers across the world. Apart from pop culture, she is quite enthusiastic about the Hallyu culture and is exploring the world of anime, expanding the horizons of her knowledge.