The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was perhaps one of the best sitcoms of the 90s. People still know the lyrics off by heart to it’s theme song….
Did you ever notice how mid way through the show, they replace Aunt Vivian? The first actress was Janet Hubert-Whitten, who placed the role from 1990 – 1993. She was the strong black woman who taught the boys about the importance of culture and family. She had a real-life pregnancy in 1993 which was written into the script, this explains why Baby Nicky was added to the show. But after the pregnancy she was replaced by Daphne Reid. Daphne’s Aunt Vivian was more a enhancement role and took a backseat often to other characters. In this scene, the show breaks the fourth wall to make reference to the change.
The official explanation for the change was that Janet had gained 60 pounds and had become “hormonally difficult”…whatever that means. But stories say that she was incredible hard to work with even before. Will Smith stated “I can say straight up that Janet Hubert wanted the show to be The Aunt Viv of Bel-Air Show. She said once, “˜I’ve been in the business for 10 years and this snotty-nosed punk comes along and gets a show.'”
skip to 2:25 to hear Alfonso Ribeiro’s take on the situation.