Janet Hubert played Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air for their first three seasons, from 1990 to 1993. She was replaced by Daphne Reid in that role for the show’s last three seasons. Back in 2009, Hubert went public with her side of the story, that she had been replaced on Fresh Prince for overshadowing Will Smith and that she refused to suck up to him or take a pay cut. Hubert had a memoir which came out around that time called Perfection is Not a Sitcom Mom which is sadly no longer in print. (If you want to pay a fortune you can still get it on Amazon though.)
Yesterday Corey reported on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air cast reunion which took place at an event for Karyn Parson’s (Hilary) charity, Sweet Blackberry. All the original cast was there except for James Avery (Uncle Phil), who passed away in late 2013 after complications from open heart surgery, and the first Aunt Viv, Hubert. Alfonso Ribiero posted a photo of all the castmembers together and included a sweet message about Avery, but of course didn’t reference Hubert at all. Well Hubert heard about that and she had some things to say. She posted this to Facebook:
I know the media hoe Alphonso Ribero [sic] has posted his so called reunion photo. Folks keep telling me about it. He was always the ass wipe for Will. There will never be a true reunion of the Fresh Prince. I have no interest in seeing any of these people on that kind of level.
I am not offended in the least, by this photo… it was an event for Karen’s [sic] charity. It does however prompt me to take some meetings in Hollywood to pitch my memoir PERFECTION IS NOT A SITCOM MOM, and tell of the behind the scenes story before I leave this earth.
I’m relying on Jezebel for that excerpt because the original post which Hubert had on Facebook has since been removed. As Jezebel points out she really butchered the spelling of both Alfonso Ribeiro and Karyn Parson’s names. A lot of you mentioned in the comments yesterday that Hubert was the better Aunt Viv, and that sentiment is shared by JayBird, who used to write for us and swears she’s seen every Fresh Prince episode about a dozen times because it was all her parents would let her watch when she was growing up. I was only a casual Fresh Prince watcher, probably because I’m old and it aired when I was in college. If it was on when I was in high school you can bet I would have watched it more. So I don’t have a dog in this fight and will defer to your judgment that the show was never the same after Hubert left. Her candor is refreshing, I’ll give her that. I’ve also never heard anyone call someone an ass wipe for someone else. Is that a thing? Ass licker I’ve heard, but not ass wipe used in that context.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) March 29, 2017
— Variety (@Variety) March 30, 2017
— Variety (@Variety) March 29, 2017
photos credit: WENN, Getty and via Twitter