On Monday (Jan. 18), Jada Pinkett-Smith took to Facebook to announce her boycott of the 2016 Oscars, and to encourage other entertainers of color not to “beg” for recognition. In her video, which has since gone viral, Smith stated, “Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity. And it diminishes power.” And while many of the masses were on board for the actress’ crusade, one “blacktress” in particular was not here for her rhetoric: former The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star, Janet Hubert. Posting a video response of her own, Hubert did not mince words with her critical response to The Smiths.
“First of all, Miss Thing, does your man not have a mouth of his own with which to speak? Second thing is, girlfriend, there’s a lot of sh*t going on in the world that you all don’t seem to recognize,” she said. “People are dying, our boys are being shot left and right, people are hungry, people are trying to pay bills, and you’re talking about some … actors and Oscars. It just ain’t that deep.”
Hubert also recalled attempting to appeal to Will Smith in representing the Fresh Prince cast in a request for raises in pay, to which he declined, according to her version of the story. She went on to slam Smith’s performance in Concussion, offering her opinion that he did not deserve an Oscar nomination for his starring role in the film.
“Maybe you didn’t deserve a nomination. I frankly didn’t think you deserved a Golden Globe nomination with that accent, but you got one. Just because the world doesn’t go the way you wanted it to go doesn’t mean you can go out and then start asking people to start singing ‘We Shall Overcome’ for you. You ain’t Barack and Michelle Obama, and you need to get over yourselves.”
The original “Aunt Viv” character also responded to impending commentary that she is “bitter” with a simple “bitches please.” In a 2013 interview with omg! Insider, Hubert recalled her 1993 exit from Fresh Prince, stating that she felt “demonized and beaten up and crucified” during her time on the hit sitcom.
"[Smith] said 'we're just gonna replace her and act like nothing happened,'" Hubert said. "Well honey, that is not what happened, is it? The world has let me know that my place on that show was very, very, very loved ... I felt demonized and beaten up and crucified for many many years, no one came forward in my defense."
Watch Janet Hubert’s response to Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Oscars boycott below: