Will Smith Addresses ‘War of Words’ With Janet Hubert on ‘Red Table Talk’

Will Smith takes over Red Table Talk (Credit: Facebook Watch)

Will Smith took over the red table Friday to discuss long-simmering personal issues, on a special episode of Red Table Talk.

The actor and rapper brought in clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula, as he faced personal traumas from his childhood and tried to resolve a decades-old feud with former The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star Janet Hubert.

Related Story: Janet Hubert Gets Candid on ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Reunion: ‘I Lost Everything’

The emotional episode started out with Smith seeking guidance from Durvasula, and later describing how his relationship with Hubert soured. The episode included clips from HBO Max’s Fresh Prince reunion special, which started streaming on Nov. 19.

“I felt like Janet hated me, and hated doing the show,” Smith said in a voiceover.

“I wanted us to seek healing and I knew the first phase of that healing was me understanding what she experienced, so I asked Janet to sit down with me, and Dr. Ramani was on set with us that day in case Janet or I needed assistance to be able to make our way through. After 27 plus years, this was the first time that we ever sat down,” he continued.

Over the years, the two stars publicly bashed each other in the press. But they finally reconciled on the set of the show where they worked together so many years before.

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Hubert gave Smith a raw look into some of the harassment she and her family suffered from the show’s fans after she was replaced.

“Black people beat my ass, they beat my son’s ass. Somebody smashed a cookie in my son’s face and said, ‘Your mother is a b–ch,'”  Hubert said. “People send me hateful Instagram messages, [asking] ‘Aren’t you dead yet?’ ‘I love Will. Why don’t you just die.’”

The actress noted that Smith was a big star and she felt powerless when she was on the show. “I was just a little Black b—ch,” Hubert stated.

Smith thanked her for sharing her story and said it was “new information” for him.

“I just swear [that] my 21-year-old eyes could only see that I felt like you hated me,” Smith told Hubert during their conversation on the HBO Max special.

“No. I hated what you did. I just hated what you did. You took my career away, of 30-something years. You just went too far when you were younger and I know that you always had to win,” Hubert said.

The actress stressed the importance of her walking away from the show due to a reduced salary and restrictive contract, not because she was fired — like news outlets were reporting at the time. Hubert said she declined a contract that offered her ten weeks of work and barred her from taking on other projects.

“I didn’t know specifically what the offer was,” Smith said on the special.

Back on the set of Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk, Dr. Ramani talked him through why laughter was a defense mechanism for him and why he felt threatened by Hubert on set.

“So people laughing for you then is safety because if dad was laughing then dad wasn’t lashing out,” Dr. Ramani observed.

“He wasn’t hitting my mother, you’re right,” the Bad Boys actor said.

“It’s like Janet was Juilliard trained. Janet can sing, she can dance, she can act, she’s brilliant and she was in the parental figure, right? So my little boy desperately needed her approval,” Smith told Dr. Ramani.

Watch the full episode of Will Smith’s Red Table Takeover below.