Take a Minute—Just Sit Right There at Red Table Talk Because Will Smith Reflects on the Janet Hubert Reunion

Dr. Ramani Durvasula and Will Smith on the “Will Smith’s Red Table Takeover: Resolving Conflict” episode of Red Table Talk (2020); Will Smith embraces Janet Hubert on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion (2020)
Dr. Ramani Durvasula and Will Smith on the “Will Smith’s Red Table Takeover: Resolving Conflict” episode of Red Table Talk (2020); Will Smith embraces Janet Hubert on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion (2020)
Photo: Courtesy of Facebook Watch, HBO Max/YouTube

Y’all won.

Pretty much all of Black Twitter predicted that Will Smith would invite Janet Hubert to Red Table Talk (RTT) because there was “some healing that needs to happen”—thirty years’ worth of healing, in fact.

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Well, y’all were on the right track. Facebook Watch confirmed that Smith took over a special episode of RTT (so no Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne “Gammy” Banfield-Norris) and invited himself to the infamous red table to unpack the decades-long beef he had with Hubert and their subsequent reunion. That means “RTT” stands for “Red Table Takeover” today!

Since it’s best to have a professional present for this matter, clinical psychologist and frequent RTT guest Dr. Ramani Durvasula joined Smith.

Here’s the official episode description via the official press release sent to The Root:

“Will Smith’s Red Table Takeover: Resolving Conflict” | Join Will for a special Red Table Takeover when he sits down for an emotional conversation with Janet Hubert, the original Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, to resolve their bitter, 30 year-long feud.

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The hopes of having Hubert join the popular Facebook Watch series ignited when it was confirmed that Hubert would be joining The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion special, which recently aired (and is now available to stream) on HBO Max.

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“You know calling a Black woman ‘difficult’ is the kiss of death and it’s hard enough being a dark-skinned Black woman in Hollywood,” Hubert told Smith during the reunion special.

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The two ended the reunion by apologizing to each other and Smith telling Hubert, “You’re still my Aunt Viv.” In a tweet that appears to have now been deleted, Hubert commented on the special when it debuted on Wednesday noting, “Thank you all for the love...the understanding, especially you, Will. It was amazing seeing you all again. Be blessed, this is my story all about how...healing happened.”

@OGJanetHubert #FreshPrinceReunion tweet
@OGJanetHubert #FreshPrinceReunion tweet
Screenshot: @OGJanetHubert/Twitter
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Ultimately, I hope Hubert is at peace with the reconciliation and though it’s impossible to erase the damage that has been done, I’m hoping that her career is revived, if that is something she wishes to happen.

At the end of the reunion special, Smith murmured, “I think I need my own Red Table Talk”—and here we are. I actually got to catch a sneak peek of the upcoming RTT episode and here’s a breakdown of a few highlights from the episode:

  • Smith watched the infamous 2018 “Butcher Block” video Hubert posted online directed to him for the first time ever, admitting that those closest to him advised him not to watch it.
  • “I’m not arrogant enough to think that my actions and behavior were perfect,” Smith told Dr. Durvasula when she acknowledged that a key component of his and Hubert’s reunion was that he acknowledged his flaws and wrongdoing instead of attempting to defend them. “My actions and behavior were flawed and hurtful. There’s nobody on Earth that would say I hurt them that bad.”
  • Smith delved into his parents’ abusive relationship and the childhood trauma that stemmed from that, including his yearning for female approval (and later admitting to being threatened by Hubert). “At 21, I was trying to be the biggest star in the world,” he said. “I was doing an album, a movie and a TV show every year. [...] I had a girlfriend who had cheated on me right before that and everything in my creation and design of Will Smith was to be loved and to be safe.”
  • An article from The Root was used as one of the reference clippings (I’d recognize that Kinja platform font anywhere!) in regard to Smith and Hubert’s feud.
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Tune in to the “Will Smith’s Red Table Takeover: Resolving Conflict” episode of Red Table Talk now on Facebook Watch.

Also—since we’re talking about predictions—maybe this episode will do “entanglement” numbers?

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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DISCUSSION

I’ve never watched a single Red Table Talk, but I will watch this one. This is like seeing your own family dysfunction have a breakthrough.