The series — which is usually hosted by his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, daughter Willow Smith and mother-in-law Adrienne Banfield Norris — featured clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula to facilitate the conversation. In the clip shared by People magazine on Friday, Smith said he wanted to talk about “something that has really troubled me for nearly 30 years.”
“My painful situation was around the ‘Fresh Prince,’” he explained. “I had a feud, a war of words that I’d been in with Janet that I never thought would get resolved.”
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” originally aired from 1990 until 1996. Smith and Hubert, 64, buried the hatchet during the sitcom’s HBO Max reunion special, which premiered on Wednesday.
“I really couldn’t see myself celebrating without dealing with this,” Smith admitted.
Hubert played Aunt Viv for the first three seasons of the show. However, she left in 1993 citing “creative differences.” Hubert was then replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid, 72. Since then, Smith and Hubert have expressed animosity towards the other in the press.
According to the outlet, the sit-down was the first time the two saw each other in 27 years.
During the conversation, Hubert clarified why she left the series at the height of its success.
“It was insane,” she said, as quoted by the outlet. “They offered me this really bad deal in the third season. They said, ‘You’ve got two months and two weeks of work and you cannot work anywhere else. So that meant my salary was cut. I had a new baby and a husband who was out of work, so I said no. I did not accept their offer.”
“I was never fired, but the misconception was always there,” Hubert continued. “I was trapped — what could I do? They said, ‘OK, then we’re going to recast your role,’ and I said, ‘What can I say?’ I was hurt, deeply.”
Hubert said Smith’s comments about the departure over the years hurt her career.
“You were going forward and getting bigger and bigger, we knew you were going to be huge,” Hubert explained. “I lost everything — reputation, everything — and I understand you were able to move forward, but you know those words — calling a Black woman difficult in Hollywood is the kiss of death. And it’s hard enough being a dark-skinned Black woman in this business.”
Still, Hubert said she was eager to finally resolve their differences.
“I felt it was necessary for us to finally move forward, and I’m sorry that I have blasted you to pieces,” she said.
“First of all, thank you for sharing that with me,” Smith responded. “I didn’t know that, when I look back now it’s obvious that you were having a hard time and I felt like you hated me. I could not do a 30-year celebration of this show and not celebrate you, celebrate your contribution to the show, celebrate your contribution to my life.”
The pair went on to apologize for their tumultuous relationship.
“The person I want to be is someone who protects you, not someone that unleashes dogs on you,” said Smith.
“Red Table Talk” airs Friday at 12 p.m. ET.