Janet Hubert is known as the “blacktress” in these internet streets, but she’s more widely known and adored as Aunt Viv from the classic ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In fact, according to the unwritten and unofficial black culture handbook, Hubert is the only Aunt Viv we recognize. Imma let you finish, light-skin Aunt Viv, but dark-skin Aunt Viv is the greatest Aunt Viv of all time!
The episode of The Fresh Prince where Vivian was spotlighted for her dancing skills has now become one of the most iconic episodes of the show. We’ve seen Aunt Viv in that infamous pink leotard show up in endless GIFs and memes, be replicated as a simple yet effective Halloween costume, and basically remind us that this episode is truly a classic.
Janet Hubert came into The Root’s office for an interview around her latest project, King Ester, a web series that follows a daring transgender woman, Ester (played by DeJaye Joseph), in New Orleans as she navigates her sexual identity and her quest for stardom while the wrath of Hurricane Katrina ravages the city and lives around her. Stay tuned for that transparent and poignant interview later.
I begged Hubert to talk to me about The Fresh Prince. Let me tell you, Auntie wasn’t having it! Hubert expressed her distrust of the media, namely taped interviews that can be edited however the publication sees fit. I let Hubert know that here at The Root, you can count on integrity.
We laughed and gabbed like old girlfriends, sharing our thoughts on black ’90s sitcoms and the impact they’ve had on culture, and before I knew it, Hubert said, “OK, I will do it. We can talk about the dance episode.” I felt like I’d won the lottery!
So here it is: Janet Hubert talking about one of the most iconic moments in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air history.