In addition to the late actor James "Uncle Phil" Avery, who died in 2013, Janet Hubert was the only former castmember not included in the reunion pic. Daphne Maxwell Reid, who replaced Hubert as Will Smith's rich aunt Vivian Banks from season 4 to the series finale in 1996, did score an invite, however. Many of the show's fans wondered why Hubert was snubbed, and now we know: There's some major bad blood there.
Hubert, who went by the name Janet Hubert-Whitten during her time on the show, addressed her absence in a Facebook post. The actress had strong words for former TV son Alfonso Ribeiro, who posted the reunion pic.
"I know the media hoe Alphonso [sic] Ribeiro has posted his so-called reunion photo," Hubert wrote. "Folks keep telling me about it. He was always the asswipe 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 [Karyn Parsons, who played eldest daughter Hilary Banks] charity,” she continued. "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.”
That post appears to have been deleted, but Fresh Prince fans will find this jab at her onscreen replacement.
Why all the drama? Hubert and Will Smith famously clashed during their time on the show. Hubert, who is rumoured to have been fired from Fresh Prince for breach of contract when she became pregnant, once accused the actor of not helping other castmembers get raises. Smith, meanwhile, has shot back that his costar resented his success.
"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," he said in a 1993 radio interview. "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.'"
This beef's been simmering for more than 20 years, so don't go expecting any sudden reconciliations. We'll always have the reruns, though.