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Though “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” went off the air eons ago, Janet Hubert remains in the news for her many tirades against Will Smith and more recently, Wendy Williams. Her open letter to Wendy, after the talk show host grilled Tatyana Ali about Hubert’s departure from the show 21 years ago, was laced with insults and name-calling. Whether it was warranted or not, it only fueled public perception of Hubert as argumentative and difficult.

Hubert talked to The Grio to clear the air and shed light on her departure, which is still being discussed (on The Wendy Show) almost 21 years later via Necole Bitchie:

On why she was replaced on the The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air
They offered me 10 episodes, with which I said, “No.” That was 10 weeks of work and then they said that you can’t act or perform anywhere else. And so that was cutting my salary by $150,000 a year. How could I pay the bills I needed to pay with 10 episodes? And then they said, ‘We want you to go before the cameras and tell the world that it was your idea,’ and I said “Hell no.” And then they said, ‘We are going to move on.’ It was a negotiation that should have come back like most do. We were a very successful show and I felt like I was an integral part of that, and felt valuable, but you cannot feel valuable in Hollywood.

On why she does not see eye-to-eye with Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro
There was a bit of a [cast feud]. I was extremely professional on that set, maybe too professional…but I didn’t adhere to the star system. By not playing the game, that cost me. I think what happened, because the audience was so on my side at that time, that [Will] probably felt like he needed to go out, and he needed to tell a lot of lies. Alfonso went out to a college and told a lot of lies, but the problem is, I have proof that a lot of that didn’t happen. What are you going to do, fight for years and years? I’ve been condemned for a crime that I didn’t commit.

On what she would have said to Will Smith if she was invited to the reunion which took place in 2011
I would say to him, we need to heal this. You’ve done some things, you’ve said some things, that were totally untrue and you know that they were untrue. I’ve said some things that I probably should have never said. But you’ve never heard them come from my mouth. Especially the TMZ thing last Christmas; my mom passed away. So there I was again in the media getting beaten up…and you get tired. I’m tired. Aren’t you tired Will? We’ve got to come together and end this 21-year-saga.

On Will’s kids Willow and Jaden
My heart breaks from some of the comments that people make about his children. And for the damage that you may have done to someone else, your children may suffer… for your legacy

I was with her, especially about the overdue need for healing, until her comments about Will’s kids. After two decades have passed, you’d think Hubert would be above those kinds of low blows and their conflict would be water under the bridge.

Despite that jab, it’s big of her to extend an olive branch and hopefully they can move on from this once and for all.

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  • The Artist

    Well…I certainly hope they can bury the hatchet someday. I really enjoyed Janet’s performance as Aunt Viv. The chain of events that led to her departure was unfortunate but also speaks volumes about gender. One has to wonder if Janet was a male with similar high standards, would he too, have received the same treatment (all the while being told to bite bullet)