The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is not headed toward a reunion, despite what it appears that Will Smith may have tweeted.
Fans of the series got some tragic news this week with the New Year’s Eve death of actor James Avery, who played the boisterous Uncle Phil on the show. Those looking for comfort may have turned to Will Smith on Twitter for some words of condolence, but instead found reports of a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion.
The Will Smith twitter account posted what appeared to be a message from NBC discussing a reunion of the popular show, but the network said it would need proof that viewers would tune in. The NBC account then asks Will Smith to get 300,000 retweets, prompting this message from Will to fans:
“@FreshPrinceWiII: “R.I.P. Uncle Phil. All you real Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fans out there… DON’T STOP #RETWEETING THIS.”
But the report of a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion is fake, as is the Twitter account. The real Will Smith is not on Twitter, and those who look closely will see that the name Will is actually spelled with two capital i’s.
The details of the message from NBC also point to a fake. While 300,000 may be a good number for re-tweets, a reunion show could likely draw in 10 million viewers or more. It becomes clear that the fake message is a bid for visibility to whoever is behind the fake Will Smith Twitter account.
Though this report is fake, there have been some informal Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunions in the past. Last year Will Smith appeared on the Graham Norton show, and was joined by Alfonso Ribiero and friend DJ Jazzy Jeff who performed the “Carlton dance” together on stage.
A larger cast reunion took place last year, when a larger group of cast members came together for a moment that was captured in a photograph.
It’s not clear why someone pretending to be Will Smith would try to trick fans with reports of a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion, but it’s likely the same reason someone on Twitter would spread fake death rumors of Alfonso Ribiero.