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Janet Hubert Not Interested In "Fresh Prince" Reunion; Calls Will Smith An "A**hole" & "Egomaniac"

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
December 27, 2011 10:38 AM
61 Comments
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I think we are all somewhat familiar with the public battle between Janet Hubert, Will Smith and NBC, that led to the recasting of the role of Aunt Vivian, in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air's fourth season, in the mid-1990s.

And given that she continues to talk about it, it's clear that Janet Hubert is still very much, shall we say, pissed off at Will Smith, blaming him for her leaving the very successful TV series.

You may recall about a year ago in her appearance in TV One's series titled Life After, in which Hubert aimed to set the record straight about that entire occurence; in it she was clearly still upset about it all, and angery at Big Willie.

Fast-forward to last week when I posted THIS entry on a potential Fresh Prince of Bel Air TV or film reunion, after Will Smith shared a photo of himself and most of the series' cast on his Facebook page, taken about a week before Christmas day. The picture traveled the web, fueling rumors that the cast would indeed be getting together for some kind of revival of the show, whether on the big or small screen, though no confirmation of that from anywhere.

Janet Hubert must have heard about it all because, according to an exclusive interview with TMZ, she isn't at all interested in a reunion of any kind, stating, "There will never be a reunion ... as I will never do anything with an a**hole like Will Smith... He is still an egomaniac and has not grown up. This constant reunion thing will never ever happen in my lifetime unless there is an apology, which he doesn't know the word."

Well then... I suppose if this reunion ever happens, they'll be looking to Daphne Maxwell Reid, who took over for Hubert after she left the series.

But really, what the fuck is going on here? This is a really long time to hold a grudge; but I wasn't there, and I don't know exactly how things happened, so I'm probably not in any position to offer commentary. Obviously Will doesn't seem to feel like he did anything wrong, unless he is "an egomaniac and has not grown up" as she states; otherwise I'd like to think that he would have apologized if he felt he was in the wrong.

*Shrug*

No comments from Will in response; though I doubt he will.

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61 Comments

  • Micah | December 29, 2011 12:33 AMReply

    I can't help but think that some of this discussion reflects class concerns in the African American community and how we view one another. I'm not saying that it's the root of this discussion but I feel there are several other issues boiling underneath the words being said and that's one of them. While there is a HUGE chance I'm reading a little too much into it, there might be a grain of truth in that thought.

  • Micah | December 29, 2011 1:28 AM

    YES! Zeus we have attained common ground. She was great as aunt Viv. I also respect that you are too much of a stand up guy to call her the b-word. (The b-word is bitch, in case it's not clear.) The funny thing is I can easily see someone mistaking many of us commenting for being snobs which I don't think is accurate. Well it's not for me at least I can't speak for the rest of you. (I'm just joking with that last line. A little levity to lighten the mood.)

  • Zeus | December 29, 2011 1:13 AM

    I got the implication she is a snob from her Life After episode, interviews I read and Alfonso saying on the video that she refused to be apart of their "family". Which matches what she said she did on set in the Life After episode. She said she refused to speak to the people she worked with. Sorry but that's childish to me. Also seemed like she tried to judge Will when it was his show, like it or not. Will's behavior didn't seem to bother the other folks and if it did, they were smart enough to shut up about it because they knew they were blessed to be on a hit show making a VERY GOOD salary. Lastly, though they are not the same, a snobby person can be seen as a bitch if they are that overt with their snobby, obnoxious behavior. Though again, I won't call her that. Yes, she was great as Aunt Viv.

  • Charles Judson | December 28, 2011 10:48 AMReply

    Alfonso Ribeiro also claims that working with Janet Hubert was difficult. It appears around the 2:30 mark. I will say this though, he does come off a bit flippant, so there's part of me that wonders if Ribeiro's memory maybe correct that Hubert was not the easiest person to work with on set. However, in solidarity with Will, the intensity of that memory, and how he recounts it, has changed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ITl1fjD7co

  • Micah | December 29, 2011 12:57 AM

    Zeus I understand that you weren't calling her that. I was just saying even if he implied that she was a bitch, that doesn't prove that he thought she was a snob since that two words aren't synonymous. It seemed like you were saying they were. As far as her being a snob I'm sure I'm not the one to persuade or dissuade anyone in the that argument. Do you feel she was talented though?

  • Zeus | December 29, 2011 12:35 AM

    @Micah --- I said Alfonso bleeped himself from calling her bitch in the youtube video. It was implied, thus the reaction from the audience. I wasn't referring to her as that. I do see her as a snob though.

  • Micah | December 29, 2011 12:29 AM

    @ Zeus I understand you have strong feelings about Janet but "bitch" and "snob" aren't synonyms. Just as cuckoo and snob aren't synonyms. This clip just confirms whose side Alfonso has staked out. @Charles: You made a solid point about how 'families' can isolate and push away a member that is different even if it's unintentional. It was quite an insightful thought. Who knows perhaps that is some of what happened on the show.

  • Charles Judson | December 28, 2011 10:25 PM

    I'm not sure Marcus Chong was ever blacklisted. He's gotten some work, mostly guest spots on TV. But he was arrested for making threats against Warner Bros. in 2000. There's this from 2003: "In an interview with Entertainment Weekly a few years ago, Chong said that after he was fired, he had crashed a press junket, harassed the directors by phone, and sneaked into the ''Matrix'' offices on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif., and pilfered food." (http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,453177,00.html) He later tried to sue Warner Bros. Then there were the We Want Tank fan sites and groups that he encouraged in a bid to win back his role. Brother did pretty each everything he could to make himself nearly unhireable or to place doubt in people's minds about hiring him. He's a really likeable actor and I'm not sure he would be insanely successful in 2011, but even with the way The Matrix series played out, he probably could have built on those films and be much further along than he is now. Especially if he had been smart and booked his next few roles as soon as they said cut. As it is with Janet Hubert, we remember him more for getting fired than we do for anything else before or after that. Follow the politicians path of least resistance. Stop talking, go away, let everything die down, come back when no one cares anymore.

  • bondgirl | December 28, 2011 9:21 PM

    I would only take what Ribiero has to say with a miniscule grain of salt. He is what Al Cowlings was to O.J Simpson...a loyal and dedicated advocate. What else could he say? He is not going to burn that bridge, no way no how. Will is known for being a very generous friend, and I'm certain Ribiero has gained gifts, perks, and favors in the years since the show ended. Again, I feel that Will & Janet each handled the situation terribly. Will could've used some sensitivity training (along w/ maturity), and Janet could've used some humility. As much as I'm disgusted to read that he engaged in such plantation talk, it was still his show. You cannot control the actions (even if racist/sexist/self-hating) of the star or his entourage. That's Showbiz 101. Benny Medina, Alfonso Ribiero, & Will are reputed divas...since BEFORE THE SHOW. The way to counter being shut out post-FP is by having a positive attitude about what happened...nobody likes to work with Bitter Betty. Everybody has a nemesis in Hollywood, so if she really believed she was being blacklisted, she could've aligned herself with the enemy of her enemy (Will) and kept it moving.

  • Jmac | December 28, 2011 9:12 PM

    Thanks for the link. I'd have to agree, despite my love for the first Aunt Viv, it does say something that she hasn't been on tv/in movies since FP. Kind of reminds me of crazy black chick who keeps suing about her stolen "script" and the Matrix but hasn't written anything else in the past umpteen years. At least Janet has talent but really weird that nobody has called her up for any significant projects. Always meant to buy her book (it's only sold through audible.com and she actually reads it) but I'm too scared she might confirm the bad reputation.

  • Laura | December 28, 2011 6:04 PM

    Charles what did happen to Marcus Chong. Was he blacklisted? If he was, how did that happened?

  • Charles Judson | December 28, 2011 5:29 PM

    Don't get me wrong. I tend to think that Hubert was probably WAY more difficult on set than she would like to admit. Especially as she still seems so bitter about her firing and it's been almost 20 years. So I agree with Zeus, I don't think there was a mass conspiracy back in the day. But, as families (either by blood or by shared interests) tend to do, there's always that moment when they start to pull together to gang up on the one member who's not quite fitting in. They push things from awkward into hostile with each new "transgression" no matter how big or small or imagined, no matter if every once in a while that Black sheep member might be right or justified. I'm kind seeing my own family doing that to a family member now. Yes, my cousin is a f*ck up and I fear for the future of her kid. However, the way my family is handling it has guaranteed the negativity was going to escalate and the current situation was going to get worse. I love my family, but there are times I listen to their conversations and I just have shake my head in disappointment as they seem more concerned about the f*ckedupness and adding to it, than they are in moving past it and bringing it to an end. When it comes to film production, I think stories like this hold some definite lessons. Unlike other folks, folks of color can't really afford to be shut out of the biz, or marginalized for years and years when there's already a dearth of roles--especially for Black actresses in their late 30s. On the other hand, that Hubert can't just say no comment, and this many years removed still feels the need to toss out words like egomanic, are things that don't help her image--ask Marcus Chong what folks think of him post The Matrix. Egomaniac or not, Smith went from a very successful show that was in the top 20 some weeks, to an even more successful movie career. And the show still lasted another 3 seasons without her and is in constant rotation in syndication. Sometimes it's best to grit your teeth and say nothing.

  • Nadine | December 28, 2011 2:25 PM

    @Zeus - Are you okay? Ummm...no, I'm not her publicist, are you Alphonso Ribiero? I've never met this woman in my life, but she was an important figure to me at a time in Hollywood when I was lucky enough, as a very young person, to see and identify with women on-screen, in fashion and in government, a time that has long passed. I only realize her impact now that their is a void for today's young women (Tasha Smith ain't doin' it for me). I don't believe we need to make this conversation about me...or who you are. Did you want to make this about me or did you want to substantiate your claims. So you were saying, Zeus, "snob" equals "b!tch"... "Since he was there, and we weren't, I'll believe him." - YOU, Hubert was there as well... "mass conspiracy", that claim was never made...go on if you must...

  • Zeus | December 28, 2011 2:07 PM

    He confirmed she was a snob by basically calling her a bitch (he bleeped himself) and disrupting the family atmosphere they had. Since he was there, and we weren't, I'll believe him. What are you, her publicist? I doubt there is a mass conspiracy against the great Ms. Hubert.

  • Nadine | December 28, 2011 2:06 PM

    @Zeus - Whoa whoa whoa whoa... I'm confused. What were you saying? Are you saying Ribiero stated she was a snob in an article? I thought you were referring to the youtube link. Sorry, can you help me understand?

  • Nadine | December 28, 2011 1:29 PM

    @Zeus - Ribiero did not state she was a snob. Not once. He stated she was "nuts" and "cuckoo". Some on this board have interpreted her supposed "snooty" pedigree (she is originally from the South Side of Chicago) as a reason for the discord (interpreting through their own lens). I have a lens as well that makes me identify more with Hubert, giving her more of the benefit of my doubt. My lens, also, filters class in a different manner than those who are more sensitive to it. In my lens, I have taken into account, generational differences, gender, regionalism, history, expectations, race, etc... In watching an interview with James Avery, "Unscripted", he states that his mother (in his words, a very perceptive lady) told him, "All a Man has is his word, and all a Woman has is her reputation". I mean she, Janet Hubert, has been in the industry since she was a very young woman, and Hubert has, reportedly, claimed slander. This is her reputation that we are all debating. If Hubert is so bad, let her dig her own grave, but can we admit that if Ribiero (see CJ youtube link above) is an indication of what she has had to overcome in the small Hollywood circles, she should be furious...let others come out of the "wood-works" with their own stories, Fresh Prince Cast...I mean it has been TOO MANY YEARS to still relish her departure/demise...tacky even. I will look for complaints from her other projects to see if there is a pattern because as far as I'm concerned, "the FP crew" has yet to establish one. Similar statements were made about Elise Neal and her reputation on another Will Smith set (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo1OBmBWSok) for the show ALL OF US. Not unlike Hubert, Neal's contract was, reportedly, "compromised" and she ended up leaving the show. With Fresh Prince and All of Us, one could actually establish an argument that there was an on-set environment that Smith thrived upon that was not always suited for more formal/seasoned actors.

  • Zeus | December 28, 2011 12:51 PM

    ..and after finally reading the article she still is a snob. Wow! The funny thing is, no one ask her to come.

  • Nadine | December 28, 2011 12:41 PM

    ...I had to come back.... I just showed that video to my husband. He was shocked, horrified and disappointed, especially for me since I had been an advocate/admirer of Ribiero for as long as I can remember and a child dancer, like Ribiero, as well...*shiver*... :( ...

  • Zeus | December 28, 2011 12:31 PM

    Ribeiro confirmed she was a snob.

  • Nadine | December 28, 2011 12:06 PM

    ...see now I hope everyone who is commenting sees the link you posted, Charles. Ribiero is not only flippant, he was beyond ...now a lot of people are chastising Hubert for her tone... wow, Ribiero is out of order and now I see how she could use the word a$$hole if Ribiero's carriage is an indication of Smith's tone. Clearly, these people are still dancing on her grave. He claims she was "cuckoo"...now, I remember that Ribiero and Smith were peas in a pod, so I wouldn't be surprised if he also participated in her alienation. She was the only grown woman on set, I would rather hear James Avery's point of view, but even then, eh... Ribiero is clearly a sassy personality, my gosh. He states she "went nuts", but doesn't tell the audience how. Please note how some women in the audience attempted to get more information, but he wasn't biting, just bad-mouthing. The question shouldn't be whether or not Ms. Hubert went crazy...the question should be where was Ms Hubert BEFORE she "went nuts" (with regards to the FPofBA) and HOW did she get there. Ribiero is buggin'...is he seriously going around the country bad-mouthing this woman like that?

  • Nadine | December 28, 2011 11:34 AM

    Hi Charles ;)

  • Nadine | December 28, 2011 9:23 AMReply

    Things to note in the article below: 1. JH initially did not originally blame Smith for her exit; 2. JH was not going to speak of Smith's possible involvement until he attacked her publicly after she had already been replaced. 3. She does indeed point out that not only did Smith probably have a hand her firing, but that it appeared that he was going to kick a woman while she was down (my interpretation) and discredit her future endeavors through what Hubert characterized as "slanderous comments". Also, yes, there are reports that she reprimanded Smith about his "Yo momma so Black" jokes made to the studio audience per BONDGIRL's comment posted below and apparently, she was being "clowned", I suspect, bullied by Smith, Jazzy Jeff and Benny Medina on set like a bunch of kids from "Dangerous Minds". I don't like hypothesizing too much, especially in a case when one's character is on the line; I needed to find more info. Sorry too overwhelm with TMI.

  • Akimbo | December 29, 2011 12:25 AM

    I don't know, that article does her no favors and makes her sound a little paranoid. "He PROBABLY is responsible for my firing. He has a lot of clout," doesn't sound like an absolute fact at all; sounds like something she's convinced herself of more and more as the years passed. Also, "I reprimanded him CONSTANTLY for being rude to problem[sic] and locking himself up in his room" is NOT part of her damn job as an actor. That's what directors, A.D.s, P.A.s, producers, interns, and just about every other person on set are for. How are you going to nag/harass the star of the show every day and not think there will be consequences? Who do you think you are? I never thought Will was blameless, but the below definitely pushed me further onto his side.

  • Nadine | December 28, 2011 8:57 AMReply

    ARTICLE: Smith, Whitten feud over her 'Fresh Prince' exit - 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' actors Janet Hubert-Whitten and Will Smith
    JET MAGAZINE 1993
    (Snippet) - "In one of the most highly-publicized departures in recent memory, Ms. Hubert-Whitten was fired from 'Fresh Prince' following what she described as a feud with network officials. She had told Jet and other media outlets that her termination was some sort of vendetta against her and she did not know the origin of it.

    Smith was quoted in the Atlanta Journal as saying that Ms. Hubert-Whitten brought a lot of her problems to work and that the problems lasted well beyond her pregnancy. The paper quoted him as telling a local radio station: '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 ... She has basically gone from a quarter of a million dollars a year to nothing. 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."

    Initially, Ms. Hubert-Whitten was reluctant to get specific about the nature of her firing. Now, after reading about Smith's Atlanta interview, she has indicated that Smith played a role in her termination. She also said that many of the remarks he is quoted as having said are not true. "He probably is responsible for my firing. He has a lot of clout. It's-too bad that it's a Black-on-Black attack. I tried not to name names. I have more class than that. I wish Will would tell the truth. If you're going to talk, tell the truth. He has gotten me fired from the show and now he is trying to snatch my career away from me (with his recent comments). I have not slandered him in any way. Anyone who stands up to Mr. Smith on "Fresh Prince" is gone. I reprimanded him constantly for being rude to problem and locking himself up in his room...."

    She said she hopes Smith becomes "a stronger, Kinder Black man than he has demonstrated." Smith could not be reached for comment at Jet press time.
    COPYRIGHT 1993 Johnson Publishing Co.
    COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_n18_v84/ai_14330371/

  • Nadine | December 28, 2011 2:17 AMReply

    Janet Hubert on TV ONE (7/2010) - Life After, on losing her job and how she was replaced.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UP49DEzGlA4&feature=related

  • Monica | December 27, 2011 11:10 PMReply

    It would be interesting to know the whole story. You know there are 2 sides to everything. I do find it interesting that she seems to be the only one who's said anything so negative....apparently for 15 years now, about Will and the whole situation. I don't know about the rest of the cast, but it appears he's kept in touch with Alfonso and Tatyana. It might be interesting to hear their thoughts. From what we're hearing, it seems maybe apologies would need to go both ways. And then there's that question, if she got her apology, then what? Is she gonna be past it then or still be going over and over and over it with bitterness. I think everyone pretty much agrees, she needs to just get over it.

  • Micah | December 28, 2011 4:35 AM

    I've never heard anyone say anything bad about janet except Mr. Smith. When the other actors from the series have been asked about it they say in a far more eloquent manner "My name is Bennett and I'm not it". You've never seen such beautiful tap dancing around a question except from a politician.

  • Micah | December 27, 2011 8:19 PMReply

    @ Bondgirl and Nadine: While I don't always agree with your comments I appreciate that they are usually well thought out and tempered, if not downright insightful. I always enjoy reading them.

    I personally think Janet Hubert was the best actor on the series. That's not a diss at Will Smith. He's a star and there's no way around that. However I feel being a star has more to do with charisma. He has that to spare and it's apparent when ever he's on screen.

    While I'm inclined to believe Janet's version of the story, I don't feel she's chosen the best way of dealing with it. I realize that from now to eternity the first thing an interviewer ask her is always going to be about the show, but she may want to find a better way of dealing with the question. It's a shame her talent is overshadowed by this. Being hurt by people is horrible yet we have to find a way not to compound damage that's been done. However, I'm not in her shoes.

  • bondgirl | December 28, 2011 9:43 AM

    Thank you Micah:)

  • Nadine | December 28, 2011 8:51 AM

    Thanks Micah. I completely agree with your point about "charisma". Apparently Janet H. wasn't going to talk about the specifics of her firing, at first, but after Smith went on a tour promoting FP and the new Aunt Viv, Smith basically embarrassed her on the radio which then led her to open up. Jet 1993 article

  • Orville | December 27, 2011 6:37 PMReply

    I always felt the second Aunt Viv was terrible she was a lightweight in every sense of the word. The original Aunt Viv was a good actress and she brought integrity to the role. Janet is a trained actress I don't know the full story but I don't think people should put Will Smith on some pedestal. The quality of the Fresh Prince went down after Janet left the show. Also, maybe Janet had a problem with Will because he was a rap artist new to acting and didn't know the craft of acting. Will Smith never went to acting school and Janet did. Will Smith has evolved and he is now a good actor but in the early 1990s he wasn't that good.

  • Micah | December 29, 2011 12:21 AM

    That clip shows a flash of potential but it's the same flash you might see in a mediocre drama student. 'There may be something there but it remains to be seen.' Even these days Will's success is owed more to Charisma that actual acting talent. That's in spite of how he's grown as actor.

  • Neziah | December 28, 2011 11:45 PM

    Exactly, Nick, Will was a good actor in the early 90's, and that clip encompasses all his abilities as a whole.

  • Nick | December 28, 2011 7:44 AM

    He wasn't that good of an actor in the early 90's? I disagree completely. Just one of the clips to prove you wrong:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7MKS4sM1KE

  • Nicole | December 27, 2011 5:39 PMReply

    Obviously none of us know what happened between Will and Janet but the fact remains...Will has moved on. Janet is still bitter and holding a grudge and it's stagnated her growth as a person and as an actor. I'll be honest, I haven't missed seeing her work and apparently neither has Hollywood. She's still pissed off at Will and he's gone on to become one of the biggest success stories in Hollywood.

    If there's something Will needs to apologize for, he may or he may never. Is Janet going to stay mad forever? This is sad.

    And lastly, I don't know why Janet even bothered to comment on the reunion possibility. IF there is a FP reunion show, she will be the LAST person they call. Daphne Maxwell Reid will be playing Aunt Vivian.

  • bondgirl | December 27, 2011 4:22 PMReply

    I loved Aunt Viv, but she comes across exactly how she says Will is. Reportedly Will made "your momma so black" jokes in their downtime to the audience, so I would've gave him the side eye too. Navigating personalities on a set is even more complex when you think you're better than the star because you attended Julliard.

  • Nicole | December 27, 2011 5:44 PM

    "Navigating personalities on a set is even more complex when you think you're better than the star because you attended Julliard"

    ******************************************************************************************
    This statement reminds me of a girl I knew who always thought she knew more than the people she worked with. She thought she knew what was right and how things should be done. She would start a job and within a few weeks have offended everybody trying to "fix" them. And set the office straight. Needless to say she didn't stay at jobs too long. Maybe this was a part of Janet's problem. "I'm a Julliard trained actor and I'm here to teach the lowly rapper what REAL acting is....."

  • Nadine | December 27, 2011 3:39 PMReply

    LAST THING, I'm posting on this (not that it matters)... I don't know if Janet Hubert is ever going to check out this page, or not, but I hope she see that no matter how people feel about her recent statements and, apparently, her bitterness (whether we agree with it or not), EVERYONE pretty much loves and misses her work, even her presence. Ms. Hubert has now got to ask herself if maybe carrying this around might have kept her away from us longer than need be. EVERYONE is going to ask you, Ms. Hubert, about Fresh Prince...practically everyone, so if to this day your initial reaction is "to bark", the focus will be less on the circumstances and more on you. I think we all agree that no one is doubting that Will Smith could have been a Primadonna, but the focus should also be on how one was able to handle a bad situation. No judgment, I think everyone wants you, Ms. Hubert, to do well. Thanks S&A for posting.

  • Jmac | December 27, 2011 3:04 PMReply

    I loved Janet Hubert much better than Daphne but sister-girl needs to let it go. If anyone heard her radio interview a year or so back you'd know she is definitely BITTER. The host was being genuinely sympathetic but she still mowed him down. She had class and grace and dignity - a more downhome version of Clair Huxtable. I was mad when she left FP and didn't watch many episodes after it but dayum how many years ago is that? Did they make her sign a contract to never go back to Broadway? If she were really that good, no amount of bitchiness and bad attitude would have prevented people from hiring her... at least shortly after her leave. She wasn't on the show long enough to "lose" her chance to return to the theater. Maybe Will was an ass but allowing him that much power over your life when it's evident you had talent and skills before his butt was even born is just plain foolish. Let it go, Aunt Viv.

  • Akimbo | December 27, 2011 2:47 PMReply

    Whether her complaints are founded or not, welcome to Hollywood, Janet. When an important person is an asshole to you, you shut the eff up, work your ass off, and bide your time until you're important yourself. While I don't doubt that Will has an enormous ego, I always got a diva vibe from Janet - black theatre actors and dancers from her era-ish (Phylicia Rashad, S. Epatha Merkerson) tend to have that snooty "I am an artiste" thing about them- and it didn't help that I was in elementary school with some of her relatives who acted like her being on FP made them better than everyone. It's really too bad; she was an awesome Aunt Viv. I loved it when she and her sisters came together!

  • Akimbo | December 29, 2011 2:12 AM

    Well, I actually think that S. Epatha is really cool and down to earth; she just gives off that previously described vibe (which I feel she turns on & off). And, of course, if I knew any person better than I did, my feelings would be different about them; I could either loathe them or love them. I do understand (from personal experience) what you're saying about certain types of black people being accused of being "stuck up," but the fact that you keep repeating it in this particular comment thread makes it seem like you're trying to apply it to my experience. You say that's not the case, but if it's really not, I don't get why you keep reiterating that point. I don't feel attacked at all, just...doubted? Anyway, since graduating and moving to LA, I haven't been as involved in black theatre (I've yet to find a theatre home out here), but I am writing and have my sights set on television.

  • Micah | December 29, 2011 12:50 AM

    Akimbo you're absolutely right that it's possible to like an artist without them being a particularly pleasant person. One thing I want to make clear and didn't translate in what I wrote is that I WASN'T attacking you. Perhaps I didn't articulate my point very well. However I'm not sure why you thought I was trying to explain your experience away. I don't know your background and never mentioned it.. I have a great deal of respect for anyone that spent time laboring in the black theatre. It's definitely a labor of love. I curious to know if you are still involved or have moved on to other passions. That being said, we all have had our actions misinterpreted. I seen many well spoken, friendly but extremely serious minded black people attacked for being "haughty" when it couldn't have been further from the truth. I'm just saying it can be easy to misconstrue people's thought and feelings based on traits that are open for interpretation and are better understood in context. You have to at least admit that if you had gotten to know these women in a deeper and personal way your feelings about them might be different. By the way I'm serious about knowing if you are still involved in theater.

  • Akimbo | December 29, 2011 12:15 AM

    Micah, you can still like someone as an artist/personality without them being a particularly pleasant person. You don't need to make excuses for the woman or try to explain away my experience. I grew up both in the black theatre world and in bourgie black America; I know the difference between refined and haughty. Best of luck to you as well.

  • Micah | December 28, 2011 4:45 AM

    Akimbo we both love Mrs. Rashad. Maybe they're not snooty just sensible, intellectual and refined. That's not an assault on you Akimbo, it's just that people have interesting ways of interpreting others peoples mannerisms and actions that have more to do with their on prejudices then the other people (Which you may or may not have alluded to). Sometimes wanting to create a higher standard as a black artist can get you labeled snooty even if you try approaching it in a pleasant way. Best of luck to you in your own creative efforts.

  • Akimbo | December 28, 2011 4:04 AM

    No. I've met Rashad on several occasions and she carries herself in a haughty manner. This is not a "oh, she's bourgie/uppity/fake/an oreo" comment; it's just reality. And I love her. Same for Merkerson; I saw her speak and she touched on how her attitude has hindered her career and how she has to keep herself in check. Maybe snooty was the wrong word, but they give off airs of superiority that I can see emanating from Hubert as well.

  • Jmac | December 27, 2011 3:11 PM

    Now come on - Phylicia and my girl Epatha are not "snooty." They just don't play "hood." Whenever I hear the lyrics:
    "His sister's black but she is sho 'nuff pretty
    Her skirt is short but Lord her legs are sturdy
    To walk to school she's got to get up early
    Her clothes are old but never are they dirty."
    I think of those women.
    But I'll admit Janet has an erudite air to her.

  • Violet | December 27, 2011 2:43 PMReply

    Well if that's her attitude after all this time then people won't really want to see her in a reunion anyway. It's a shame, because she's just making herself look worse.

  • TrulyPC | December 27, 2011 2:14 PMReply

    Janet Hubert was asked a question and she gave an answer of how she felt. People can actually move on in their lives but it does not mean that they don't still feel the way they feel about a person, incident or situation. I disagree with the assessment that she is bitter because that term is an easy way of being dismissive of someones legitimate grievance. It reminds me of how black people are always railed on and told to get over things when we voice our grievances on anything. I think Janet Hubert is a marvelous talent and I miss seeing her on television and whatever happened to bring that about was a disservice.

  • Gregory Carter | December 27, 2011 1:42 PMReply

    Janet Hubert We Never Liked You Anyway .

  • Zeus | December 27, 2011 1:21 PMReply

    I saw her on "Life After" and she came off a little arrogant. Like because she may have been the most trained actress on set that everyone had to kiss her feet. She said Will played rap music too loud on set and everything was a party. Well, it was his show and he was a high energy rap artist so I don't know what she was expecting. She blamed her attitude on the fact that she was pregnant and her moods kept changing. She said she stopped talking to them. Fair enough but why have an admitted "attitude" on set with your cast members then be shocked they are done with you? Who wants to work with someone who is giving off constant attitude to everyone when they are trying to work and have some fun? Production is stressful enough without some DIVA bullshit. She made the statement that if Will wanted to have his ass kissed "put it in my contract." Sounds like she wanted it in HER contract. I'm sure Will feels terrible about how she feels.

  • Anwar | December 27, 2011 1:10 PMReply

    The more successful Will Smith is, the more bitter she will come off. If she had went on to become an Academy Award and Tony winning actress after being let go from that show, she wouldn't be so angry about this now or she would at least be more careful about how much she chooses to speak on it. I have a feeling she blames this for later struggles in her career and seeing Will Smith get so big just rubs salt in the wound. I mean, she clearly has had an air of "I'm trained and take this seriously and you don't."

  • BluTopaz | December 27, 2011 11:59 AMReply

    This reminds me of the Good Times controversy, where the attention became focused more on JJ being a buffoon. But I feel both ways about Janet's comments; good that she speaks her mind but she only makes herself look bitter after how many years? She is another talented actress who never received any recognition.

  • Vanessa | December 27, 2011 11:01 AMReply

    Regardless of how bad things seemed/were back then, she's only hurting herself by hoding onto this grudge. It's pathetic to publicly speak about it again after so long. What's even more so is that she's just mad because she feels left out; since she wouldn't have been considered for the reunion anyways. Who's the egomaniac here or the one who needs to grow up?

  • Laura | December 27, 2011 6:14 PM

    @Nadine. The verse is not biblical at all. That is a saying I have heard since I was child. It's another way of saying "let it go". The Bible, God and whatever is deemed Holy is not in the mix at all. As for disagreeing with you, my response were only to Vanessa and her above statement as I stated in my comments below. Don't worry about sounding rude. I know that what one write is never matches what one would say in person. It's all good.

  • Nadine | December 27, 2011 3:06 PM

    ...that post was not meant to sound rude. I type really long posts so in my attempts to shorten, I edit too much which, at times, can make my shorter posts can sound terse...just ignore the tone...it's all wrong...that was all love.

  • Nadine | December 27, 2011 3:03 PM

    @Laura..."the actress needs to get over herself" is not a statement worthy of being followed by "LET GO and LET GOD". Is that even in the Bible? If so, drop that verse on us, if not, I'd slow down on the less than charitable sanctimonious postings. Comes off as hypocritical given the humility and charity one is supposed to gain from those teachings. You don't have to agree with me and it's fine to agree with Vanessa, but...eh... that mixing of God and judgement in your posting, not so great, but again, I hear what you all are saying.

  • Laura | December 27, 2011 1:45 PM

    Vanessa I do agree with your above comments. The actress need to get over herself. No matter what the circumstances were, she should "let go and let God." What type a betrayal happened to her that she is still bad mouthing Will Smith? I could see if it was a bitter divorce, death of a love one, they did something the tore her personal life asunder. She was fired from a job, probably because Smith was an egotistical ass-hole and probably did something maliciously underhanded. But isn't the business filled with those types. How does her going around bad mouthing her former co-worker and employers help her land work? To me her speaking on Fresh Prince of Bel Air is a publicity stunt -at best, or a sign of immaturity -at worst.

  • Nadine | December 27, 2011 12:58 PM

    Oh no... NEVER a problem! It's just that people can be evil and it's hard when their actions/lies/mischaracterizations continue to follow you throughout the years which only serves to re-open, what should be, old wounds. I can't fault her. The conqueror always gets to tell their version of history, so I would hope that our support would be enough to heal her wounds. I not only want to see more of her, but I MISS seeing her. She would've been great on Grey's Anatomy (as well as Nona Gaye, Theresa Randle, and Trina McGee-Davis ... I'm just saying)... ;)

  • Vanessa | December 27, 2011 11:33 AM

    You're right Nadine; I don't know what exactly happened. I came across kinda harsh there. However, you can only be mad for so long. Many of us have been betrayed at some point; what I've learned is that you only hurt yourself more by holding on to that. All this is easier said than done; I know that. She's projecting a lot of negative energy, which, unfortunately, comes back to hurt you over and over again. At this point, you'd think she would've come to terms with it and found some sort of? closure IMHO. *shrug*

  • Nadine | December 27, 2011 11:12 AM

    I don't think anyone here can speak with certainty about WHY Janet Hubert is mad, Vanessa. Clearly, she feels betrayed. If you've never been betrayed, be thankful, but this is an adult woman who is clearly hurt. Personally, I love Daphne Maxwell-Reid for more nepotistic reasons, but have ALWAYS been in awe of Janet Hubert. The woman is a major talent and I definitely want to see more of her.

  • Dee | December 27, 2011 10:55 AMReply

    I guess this is about what each thought was best for the show. I suspect Janet had a more positive, aspirational feel in mind whereas ratings, advertisers and Will probably felt that the comedy came 1st.

    Lord knows Fresh Prince could get so broad I'm surprised Spike didn't get up in its face.

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