Janet Hubert, the actress best know for her role as the original Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, had some harsh words for Jada Pinkett Smith following Smith’s call for fellow actors of color to boycott the Oscars. According to E!, Hubert’s tumultuous history with the Smiths was evident when she suggested that the couple was receiving the “karma” they deserved.
Hubert says she debated about whether or not to post a video response to her Facebook regarding the call for activism by Smith but in honor of Martin Luther King Day, Janet felt compelled to share her opinion on the matter and what an opinion it was.
Hubert began her tirade by chastising Smith for not having her husband speak for himself, alluding to the possibility that Jada and Will are simply reacting to Will’s Oscar snub rather than speaking out against what many have called a “whitewashed” Oscar nomination process.
“First of all, Miss Thing, does your man not have a mouth of his own with which to speak,” Hubert started. Janet then went on to try to give Smith a dose of reality, from the violence being experienced in the world to the struggle to make ends meet, comparing those with the triviality of awards ceremonies.
“It just ain’t that deep,” Hubert chided.
The tirade continued as Janet Hubert pointed out that many actors of color could harm their careers by participating in Jada’s boycott as many lack the power the Smiths have.
“For you to ask other black actors to jeopardize their career,” Hubert reasoned, “and their standing in a town that you know damn well that you don’t do that.”
At one point, Janet remarks about the culpability of the Smiths in the lack of opportunity for black actors, pointing out that their production company doesn’t provide much of an outlet either.
Hubert’s admonishment of Jada goes on for about four minutes and brings up valid points for discussion. Hubert points out the hypocrisy of the Smiths, who Hubert says have made millions in the very industry of which Jada is being critical of. Janet also suggests multiple times that Smith’s words are simply sour grapes over Will’s Oscar snub for his role in Concussion.
“I didn’t think, frankly, you deserved a Golden Globe nomination with that accent, but you got one,” Hubert said mocking Will Smith while touting the fact Janet thought Idris Alba deserved an Oscar nomination more than Smith.
Perhaps it really is just sour grapes. If anyone would know about that, it would be Janet Hubert.
Janet Hubert originated the role of Aunt Viv on Will Smith’s The Fresh Prince of Bel Air but was replaced by actress Daphne Reid after three seasons. While many stories surfaced about friction on the set between Smith and Hubert and Hubert’s contract dispute, in 2013, Janet opened up in an interview shared with the Huffington Post and gave her own explanation of things.
At that time, Janet Hubert explained that she felt demonized after being fired and described Smith and costar Alfonso Ribeiro as “bad kids” after Ribeiro referred to Hubert as “crazy” in interviews and Smith supposedly went on egomaniacal tirades. Janet stated that Will Smith did “some heinous, horrible things to me.” Despite stating in previous interviews, however, that Hubert had put the kibosh on a chance of ever reuniting with her Fresh Prince co-stars, in this particular interview, Janet felt that getting back together was something she could work through, stating, “I think we all owe each other an apology.”
Given Janet’s viral message today, however, Will and Jada may not be quite ready to extend the olive branch to Hubert. While Jada Pinkett Smith’s video was met with mixed response, in the court of public opinion, Janet Hubert seems to be getting some redemption.
Aunt Viv is kinda right in that the Smiths became Hollywood, and made mad money from it. Now everyone must lobby cos they asked? Welp.
— Gugulethu Mhlungu (@GugsM) January 19, 2016
Maybe Aunt Viv was right. https://t.co/yfBkGjRFsr
— Ty Alexander (@gorgeousingrey) January 19, 2016
— Beatrice E. Peterson (@MissBeaE) January 19, 2016
Check out Janet Hubert’s full video below:
[Janet Hubert cover image via The Fresh Prince of Bel Air Official Facebook.]