During Friday's episode of Red Table Talk, Will Smith sat down with clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula to reveal why he decided to end his feud with Janet Hubert, who played “Aunt Viv” on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Smith and Hubert ended talked about their issues on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion, which aired last week on HBO Max.
He said, “I had a feud, a war of words that I’ve been in with someone that I never thought would get resolved. I really couldn’t see myself celebrating without dealing with this.”
Will admitted that he needed Janet's approval and felt “threatened” after he didn't get it.
After watching a clip of his talk with Janet, Will told Dr. Ramani, “My father was violent in my house. So a part of the whole creation of Will Smith, the joking, fun, silly was to make sure my father was entertained enough to make sure my father wouldn’t hurt my mother or anyone else in the house. So that plucks a childhood space of inadequacy. I would perform and dance and tell jokes. People laughing and having fun was my defense mechanism.”
He continued, “Janet was Julliard trained. She can dance, she sing, she can act. She’s brilliant. And she was in the parental figure. So my little boy desperately needed her approval.”
Will went on, “I felt threatened. At that point in my career, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” really saved my life. I had a few years in the music business but I had lost all my money. I didn’t pay taxes. I was in debt to the IRS ($2.8 million to be exact.) I had just flopped an album and “The Fresh Prince” represented life. So on the little boy level with Janet, I needed ‘mommy to think I was great.’ And once I realized that she didn’t my dragon woke up.”
RED TABLE TALK Will Smith said he desperately needed Janet Hubert’s approval :
RED TABLE TALK Will Smith says dad was abusive :
RED TABLE TALK Will Smith says he felt threatened by Janet Hubert :