If you watched sitcoms in the ‘90s, most likely you tuned in to at least a few episodes of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” The sitcom about a teen from West Philadelphia who moved in with his aunt and uncle in Bel Air, is a classic fish out of water story, but it was also somewhat revolutionary for its time.

Recently, the entire cast reunited for a 30 year reunion special, and they discussed, among other things, how the show, which featured an upper class black family, was game-changing when it came to the way black people were portrayed on TV.

Alfonso Ribeiro who played Carlton explained, “The idea that we, as a Black show on TV — one of three at the time — they weren’t really ‘us’ in the writers’ room. As an actor, you never had a voice in the room. You were a puppet that was told what to do. We were able to share the experience — the real experience — and gave those writers our perspective.”

The original Aunt Vivian was played by Janet Hubert, and she knew that her role was unique. She had never seen another dark skinned black woman play a character who was a good role model, a good mother and a professional. Unfortunately, after 3 seasons, everything changed for her, and not in a good way this time.

Hubert was recast after season 3, and she blamed Smith for banishing her. The two hadn’t seen each other in 27 years until they sat down to talk during the reunion show. They kept the conversation real and honest. 

Watch the video below to see a clip from the reunion between Smith and Hubert.

When the show first aired in 1990, Will Smith didn’t have any acting experience. He was a rapper that went by Fresh Prince. It seems that he also didn’t have a lot of experience being sensitive to other people. Smith acknowledged his part in Hubert’s exit from the show and said, “The person I want to be is someone who protects you not someone who unleashes dogs on you.”

Many viewers are applauding this reconciliation saying “the forgiveness and honesty was just beautiful.”

If you would like to watch the entire 30 year reunion, you can stream it on HBO Max. It was released on November 19 at 8pm Eastern Time.

Does it surprise you that Smith and Hubert were able to reconcile after all these years? Do you think the show was as good after Hubert left the cast?