Will Smith took over Red Table Talk for a special episode in which he broke down the deeper details of his long-running feud with former co-star Janet Hubert.
Fans saw Will, 52, and the 64-year-old actress (who played the original Aunt Vivian) finally reconcile during the emotional The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special
The actor chose to delve into the powerful moment further by taking over his wife’s Facebook Watch show focused on how to resolve conflict.
Will watched his tear-filled chat with Janet alongside clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula, and the pair discussed the reasons behind the bitter feud.
The chat began as Will admitted: ‘My painful situation was around the Fresh Prince. I had a feud, a war of words that I’d been in with Janet that I never thought would get resolved.’
During the chat with Janet, the actress revealed her difficulties on set had nothing to do with the cast, but mainly due to her situation at home, including what she described as a ‘very abusive marriage.’
She explained leaving The Fresh Prince was devastating for her as she 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.’
After rewatching his conversation, Will was visibly shaken as he admitted: ‘I’m trying to put some logic to it, but the sensation I feel… It’s not who I want to be, and it’s not how I want to make people feel. My whole life and career is centered on aggressively trying to make people feel the opposite of that.’
He opened up about his childhood to Dr. Ramani back into his childhood as he revealed: ‘My father was violent in my house, so a part of whole creation of “Will Smith” — the joking, fun, silly — was to make sure that my father was entertained enough not to hurt my mother or anybody in the house. … People laughing and having fun was my defense mechanism.’
He claimed he no recognized that some of his issues with Janet was because he fell back into that intense family dynamic with his TV family, as he added: ‘I needed everybody to be joyful so I could feel safe.’
When Janet stopped appearing ‘joyful’ in Will’s eyes — due to her own abusive home life which she had kept secret from her costars — he began to feel ‘threatened’ and lashed out.
The duo realized Will has had a lifelong need for female approval as he explained: ‘Because of my dynamic with my mother as a little boy — my father beat my mother and I couldn’t protect her — female disapproval is unbearable. My body can’t handle it.’
But Will was happy to report that there is one female relationship he has been able to maintain without issue as he explained: ‘[My daughter] Willow is the only female relationship I’ve had that I didn’t mess up. In my mind, I did right by her.’
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special is available to stream on HBO Max.
MORE : Will Smith recreates epic Fresh Prince moment after emotional sitcom reunion
MORE : Will Smith reveals he made Fresh Prince set ‘very difficult’ for OG Aunt Viv as stars end bitter 27-year feud
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