+
The original Aunt Viv opened up about how Will Smith 'ruined' her career for being 'difficult'

Being labeled as "difficult" because you refuse to accept a bad situation is almost a rite of passage for women. Unfortunately, that difficult label – whether deserved or not – can make or break a woman's success. A study conducted at the University of Hamburg's Department of Economics found, "[D]islikability hurts women] more than likeability helps" and "women significantly suffer from the variation in likability and achieve overall worse outcomes than men."

The drama between Will Smith and Janet Hubert (aka the O.G. Aunt Viv) behind the scenes on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Airhas been the subject of copious nostalgia-themed click-bait articles. Hubert was reportedly fired for being "difficult" and replaced with Daphne Maxwell Reid after season three, but the real story behind Hubert's departure is sadly too familiar to many women in the workplace where likeability sometimes factors into a woman's performance more than competence or fairness.


During the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion Special on HBOMax, Hubert sat down with Smith to talk about what really happened for the first time in 27 years. Hubert revealed she grappled with a challenging personal life during her time on the show, which affected her behavior on set. While Hubert was never unprofessional, she was just withdrawn, which is for some reason a problem?"I was no longer laughing, smiling, joking because there were things that were going on that nobody knew about. The cast had no idea what was going on," Hubert said.

In a weird way, it almost makes it worse. Hubert wasn't punished for histrionics or harassing her co-stars. She was punished for not being affable at a time when she shouldn't even be expected to be affable.

Hubert also put to bed rumors that she was fired from the show for that "bad" behavior. "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.' 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," Hubert explained.

Hubert revealed she felt Smith was responsible for pushing her off of the show, and he hurt her career when he branded her with a scarlet difficult. "But you took all of that away from me — with your words. Words can kill. 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," Hubert said.

Smith acknowledged his own part in the way Hubert was treated, and is able to see how he "made things very difficult" for Hubert. At the time, Smith was 21-years-old and felt as if "everything was a threat," saying he was neither "sensitive" nor "perceptive" to what Hubert was going through in her personal life. "I was so driven by fear," Smith admitted. Smith also said he felt as if Hubert hated him.

Now, Smith knows better. "I have children. I've been divorced and I have a second marriage, and I can see now the level of pain and the level of struggle that it was just for you to show up every day."

Huber and Smith hugged and made up, forgiving each other for the mistakes of the past. Smith said, "You're still my Aunt Viv" and Hubert was reunited with the rest of the cast, meeting Reid for the first time.



A lot has changed in the 30 years since the show first aired. Transparent conversations, such as the one between Hubert and Smith, are more commonplace and accepted. By having conversations like this, more people can understand some of the misogyny involved in earning a "difficult" label, and how sometimes the person who bears it isn't difficult at all.

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

Keep ReadingShow less
popular

Artist captures how strangers react to her body in public and it's fascinating

Haley Morris-Cafiero's photos might make you rethink how you look at people.

Credit: Haley Morris-Cafiero

Artist Haley Morris-Cafiero describes herself on her website as "part performer, part artist, part provocateur, part spectator." Her recent project, titled "Wait Watchers" has elements of all her self-descriptors.

In an email to us, Morris-Cafiero explained that she set up a camera in the street and stood in front of it, doing mundane activities like looking at a map or eating gelato. While she's standing there she sets off her camera, taking hundreds of photos.

Keep ReadingShow less

Writer/Director Richard Curtis and Emma Thompson

Since its release in 2003, the Christmas-themed rom-com "Love Actually" captured hearts and became one of the most beloved holiday films of all time. True to its title, the film celebrated love—all kinds of love—as it actually is, and managed to maintain optimism without being overly saccharine. This, coupled with a truly stellar ensemble, made it so well received among audiences, despite the mixed reviews from critics.

Nearly 20 years later, the film’s writer and director Richard Curtis (who also brought us "Notting Hill" and "Bridget Jones’ Diary") reflects back on why it might have meant so much to so many people. As an artist who has made a name for himself creating enduring love stories, perhaps it’s no surprise that he feels it’s something the world is in constant need of.

Keep ReadingShow less

A metal detector hobbyist looking for treasure on the beach.

Joseph Cook, 37, is a popular metal detectorist on social media where he shares videos of the many treasures he finds on Florida beaches. But what’s even more engaging than his finds is the incredible excitement he brings to the hobby. It’s like watching Steve Irwin, but with a Florida accent.

Not only is his attitude infectious but he also makes a point of doing good when he finds lost items. He wears a necklace around his neck with multiple rings that he’s found to remind him of his mission to return lost treasures.

Recently, he told SWNS that he dug up "the biggest diamond I ever found” on the beach. "When I first found it I thought it would just be a nickel, but then I dug it up and it was just this big old diamond and platinum ring," he said.

Keep ReadingShow less
Helen Mirren via WikiCommons/Morgan Freeman via WikiCommons

Someone asked who the female voice of Morgan Freeman was

Celebrities are known for different things, they all seem to have their niche but Morgan Freeman has cemented his place as the ultimate recognizable voice. In fact, if you ask some people who the voice of God is, Freeman will come to mind with his deep distinctive voice.

When thinking back, there doesn't seem to be a woman's voice that you immediately associate with that divine superpower to captivate listeners. Before Freeman was the voice of God, there was James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader. With his deep hearty bass-like voice, even Jones' laugh is so distinctive that you automatically attribute it to him.

Someone on Reddit decided to find out what female actor people believed had the ability to instantly step into the shoes of someone like Freeman as far as voice is concerned. Some of the answers were pretty surprising while others, you can instantly see how they'd fall into that category.

Keep ReadingShow less