I’m sure most of you were fans of Will Smith’s 90’s sitcom “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”. Well, actress Janet Hubert, who was better known as “Vivian” on the sitcom is planning to release a “tell all” book entitled “Perfection Is Not A Sitcom Mom”. The book is set to hit shelves early 2010. In the book, Hubert lashes out at Will Smith claiming he sabotaged her and the other talented actors who were on the 30 minute NBC sitcom.
An excerpt from the book reads:
Smith had people around him who made sure no one outshone him. I was happy to see Don Cheadle become the quality actor that he is, and often wondered how he made it past one episode, as Hilary’s boyfriend, being such a fierce actor. No one could be on ‘The Tonight Show,’ that first season, except Will. And I mean no one.
She also talks about how another actor got cut from a guest spot on the show because execs were impressed by her talent. Hubert pens in her memoir:
I recall the lovely and incredibly talented Countess Vaughn coming to guest star. Oh my God! The day of table read, she was pee-in-your-pants funny. The writers were howling, we were howling, so I knew she was history – banished into the cornfield. Many years later, after she had her own show, I had to tell her when she asked me why. ‘Miss Janet why did I get cut from the episode,’ she asked? Simply, my darling, you were too good.
Hubert who is now, 53-years-old, was fired from the show in 1993 and replaced by actress Daphne Maxwell Reid, which she talks about in the book:
“My agent called; it was time. He had a very funny sound to his voice, not the usual wonderfully funny Michael that I knew. ‘Jaaaannnet,’ he said, ‘I got the offer and you’re not gonna like it. They offered you 10 episodes.’ Now, to the layperson who doesn’t know what this means, each show is an episode, and the usual amount is 22, with perhaps two extra. But the show was a hit so they would order 26, with each show taking a week to shoot. I remember swallowing very, very hard. [My son] Eli was only three and half months old. That meant a cut in salary of more than $100,000.”
“We had a new house, a new baby, I had just opened a new exercise studio, signed a 3-year lease, and my ex wasn’t working at the time. And they knew this,” the excerpt continued. “‘That’s not all,’ Michael said. ‘They don’t want you to work on any other shows. You can only do two guest starring roles.’ What? Who? I stammered. I couldn’t breathe. What do we do, Michael? What do we do? ‘We pass,’ Michael said. ‘This is a dirty deal, and they know it.’ OK, I trust you, I said. Michael had been my agent for more than 20 years. ‘OK sweetie, I will call you back,’ he said.”
She makes reference that being fired was like murder:
“My mind was going in a million places. OK, I thought, they will come back; this is how they do it. They always come back. I started into the kitchen where Rayna – my friend, housekeeper and nanny was. She was doing dishes as baby E was enjoying a swing. I knelt down, kissed his head, and waited for the next round of negotiations. They never came. The next time Michael called he said, ‘They are going to recast your role.’ There was a beautiful stained glass window that I designed in the bedroom, and the windows were open, so my neighbors probably heard me scream. And that beautiful window probably has many cracks in it. Time of Death: approximately 3 pm. The real Vivian Banks was murdered,” the excerpt closed.
For more details on the actress and when the book hits stores, visit her online at www.janethubert.com. Hubert has been married twice and has made special appearances on different shows.
Very interesting…hmmm..What do you think about all this? Do you think Will Smith did such a thing?
In hindsight, no other actor or actress on the show really had a great career comparable to Will Smith’s after their run on Fresh Prince. Makes you wonder?