Janet Hubert played Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for three years and had a long-running feud with Smith. Jada Pinkett Smith, who has questioned whether people of colour should attend the Oscars, attending this year’s Golden Globe Awards. Photo: Jason Merritt
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Actress Janet Hubert, who played Aunt Viv in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has reignited an old feud with Will Smith in the wake of the Academy Awards controversy.
In a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday, the 60-year-old criticised Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her campaign against the Oscars, describing the couple as selfish.
“For you to ask other black actresses and actors to jeopardise their career and their standing in a town that you know damn well – you don’t do that,” she said.
“I find it ironic that somebody who has made their living and made millions and millions of dollars from the very people you’re talking about boycotting just because you didn’t get a nomination.”
In a number of tweets and videos, Pinkett Smith questioned whether people of colour should participate in the Academy Awards after no black actors received nominations for the second year running.
The feud between Hubert and Will Smith is understood to date back decades to their time on their 1990s sitcom, with Hubert calling Will Smith’s Oscars snub “karma”.
Smith was a finalist in the best actor category for his role in Concussion but did not receive a nomination.
Hubert referenced her history with the 47-year-old actor in the video, accusing Smith of failing to help the rest of the Fresh Prince cast negotiate a pay rise.
“I seem to remember at option time coming to you and saying, ‘You know what, Will, you’re the star of the show, why don’t we all get together and with you maybe we could get a little raise?,'” Hubert recalled.
“‘Maybe the network, since, you know, the show is such a hit and you being the star of the show, your influence would help us greatly, like they did on Friends, like white shows do.’ Remember that?”
“And your response to me was ‘my deal is my deal and y’alls deal is y’alls deal’,” Hubert added. At the Oscars…people of colour are always welcomed to give out awards…even entertain, (pt. 1)— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) January 16, 2016But we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of colour refrain from participating all together? (pt 2)— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) January 16, 2016People can only treat us in the way in which we allow. With much respect in the midst of deep disappointment. J (pt 3)— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) January 16, 2016