The original Aunt Vivian from Will Smith’s ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ is not happy with the Oscars boycott that was floated by Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett-Smith on Saturday.
Janet Hubert attacked Will and Jada’s stance in a four-minute long YouTube clip uploaded on Monday.
“I’ve been trying to figure out: Do I really want to do this? Yeah, I do,” Hubert said about starting a feud. “Today, being the celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday and hitting 60 years old … I want to say something to Jada Pinkett Smith asking other black actors to boycott the Oscars. First of all, Miss Thing: Does your man not have a mouth of his own with which to speak?”
Uh oh. This would probably be a good time to mention that the reason Hubert was replaced as Aunt Viv on ‘Fresh Prince’ back in the day was because she reportedly did not see eye to eye with the show’s main star. She appeared on the show from 1990 to 1993 but was then replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid.
But with that grain of salt noted, let’s go back to the video.
“The second thing, girlfriend, there’s a lot of s— going on in the world that you all don’t seem to recognize. People are dying. Our boys are being shot left and right. People are hungry. People are starving. People are trying to pay bills,” the actress continued. “And you’re talking about some motherf—ing actors and Oscars. It just ain’t that deep.”
Hubert also has an issue with the Smiths asking other black actors to join their boycott.
“Here’s the other thing, for you to ask other actors to jeopardize their careers … You know damn well, you don’t do that,” the actress said. “They don’t care! I find it ironic that somebody who has made their living and made millions and millions of dollars from the very people [who are doing this] … That is not the way life works, baby. It’s very suspect to me.”
Hubert also took a shot at Will Smith, saying he didn’t help negotiate better contracts for the cast of ‘Fresh Prince’ when he had the chance.
“I seem to remember at option time, coming to you and saying … ‘With you, maybe we can get a little raise.’ [We thought] your influence would help us greatly like they did on ‘Friends.” According to Hubert, Smith responded with “‘My deal is my deal, and y’alls deal is y’alls deal.'”
It’s pretty easy to take a look at this rant and say that Hubert is just holding a grudge from something that happened years ago. But Hubert seemed to anticipate that rebuttal, closing her argument with, “It’s not about being bitter, it’s about being right.”
This all started when Pinkett-Smith made a series of tweets on Saturday discussing the total lack of black actors up for Oscars at this year’s ceremony.
“At the Oscars … people of color are always welcomed to give out awards … even entertain, but we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments,” she wrote. “Should people of color refrain from participating all together?”
Academy President Cheryl Boone Issacs responded to Pinkett-Smith and others who have complained, releasing an official statement on the lack of diversity on Martin Luther King Day, saying she was “heartbroken and frustrated.”
Pinkett-Smith has not responded to Hubert’s rant, but did note the statement from Issacs.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the Academy, specifically Cheryl Boone Isaacs, for such a quick response in regard to the issue at hand,” Pinkett-Smith said on her Facebook. “I look forward to the future.”
Will Smith was the lead actor in ‘Concussion’, which released in December and has won critical acclaim for the role, but he did not receive an Oscar nomination. The actor is showing up on various lists across the web for this year’s biggest Oscar snubs.