Aunt Viv! Janet Hubert, who played Will Smith‘s Aunt Vivian on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, slammed the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, over the 2016 Oscars boycott she announced on Monday, January 18.
“I’ve been trying to figure out: Do I really want to do this? Yeah, I do,” Hubert shared in a four-minute YouTube clip. “Today, being the celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday and hitting 60 years old … I want to say something to Jada Pinkett Smith asking other black actors to boycott the Oscars. First of all, Miss Thing: Does your man not have a mouth of his own with which to speak?”
Though Pinkett Smith’s husband was nominated for a best actor Golden Globe for his role in Concussion, the Independence Day hunk was excluded from Academy’s 2016 list of nominees — as were other minorities across the major acting categories. Hubert, however, said there were countless other issues to prioritize.
“The second thing, girlfriend, there’s a lot of s— going on in the world that you all don’t seem to recognize. People are dying. Our boys are being shot left and right. People are hungry. People are starving. People are trying to pay bills,” the actress continued. “And you’re talking about some motherf—ing actors and Oscars. It just ain’t that deep.”
Hubert also took issue with Pinkett Smith’s request for other black actors to boycott the 88th annual Academy Awards. “Here’s the other thing, for you to ask other actors to jeopardize their careers … You know damn well, you don’t do that,” the actress said. “They don’t care! I find it ironic that somebody who has made their living and made millions and millions of dollars from the very people [who are doing this] … That is not the way life works, baby. It’s very suspect to me.”
The actress, who played Aunt Viv from 1990 to 1993, then recalled a story involving Smith, 47, during their stint on the wildly popular ’90s sitcom. “I seem to remember at option time, coming to you and saying … ‘With you, maybe we can get a little raise.’ [We thought] your influence would help us greatly like they did on Friends.” According to Hubert, Smith didn’t help Hubert and his Fresh Prince costars negotiate their salaries, replying at the time: “‘My deal is my deal, and y’alls deal is y’alls deal.'”
Hubert concluded her video message with some searing words directed at the Smiths directly. “Maybe you didn’t deserve a nomination. I didn’t think, frankly, you deserved a Golden Globe nomination,” she said to the actor. “You ain’t Barack and Michelle Obama. And y’all need to get over yourselves … You are a part of Hollywood. You are a part of the system that is unfair to other actors.”
And for everyone else questioning her intentions, Hubert had a message for her critics, too. “It’s not about being bitter,” she quipped. “It’s about being right.”
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