Joseph Marcell, the actor who played Geoffrey on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has opened up about working with Janet Hubert and her departure from the furniture. He told the Hip-Hop Uncensored podcast, “My relationship with Janet was very, very close. I respected her. I thought she was truly excellent at what she did." 

When asked what caused Hubert's departure from the show, he said, “The show is called The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and the leading actor, the name that comes first is Will Smith and that’s how it is and that’s how it should be.  I feel that perhaps Janet was not able to deal with that.”

Marcell also implied that Hubert — a Julliard graduate who studied and worked as an actor for some time, wanted more as the show became a hit. He said, “Success corrupts. It eats at you. Success doesn’t bring contentment and satisfaction. It brings in most cases, in all of us…it brings out an avarice. It brings out the question of how much is enough?”


Marcell said that as time went on, things between Smith and Hubert got bad and he would often be in the middle of it. He explained, “I was in London and I got a call. I got a call from Will, and I got a call from James Avery and I got a call from Janet. Will was asking me what do I think. Should Janet leave? Should he get rid of her? Should he support her? I said you have to do what you have to do and if you must speak to Janet, you must sit her down and the two of you iron out your differences and come to a point of reconciliation.”

He continued, “Janet called me and I said, ‘Janet, sweetheart, you have to look at it the way it’s set up. It’s Will’s show and he’s given you as best, I’m sure he could give you more, but you are the female lead of the show. You really are. Ask for more money, just don’t create a political impasse where in the end, you are the one who’s going to suffer.’ And those were the words I used. And that was it.”

He said he found out soon after from Smith that  a deal or “compromise,” couldn’t be reached with Hubert and they would be moving on without her. Marcell said that Hubert had a change of heart days later and wished to accept the offer that was discussed, but was told that the offer was no longer on the table.