Janet Hubert, who played the
best original Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, is not impressed by Jada Pinkett Smith’s cry to boycott the 88th Annual Academy Awards. On Saturday, the Magic Mike XXL star called out the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for leaving deserving actors of color off the four major acting ballots including her husband, Will Smith, and ruminated over a possible boycott.
In response, Hubert says she’s only doing so because Will wasn’t nominated and points out that there are more important things happening in the world. "Girlfriend, there’s a lot of s**t going on in the world that you all don’t seem to recognize," she said in the four-minute video. "People are dying, our boys are being shot left and right, people are hungry, people are starving, people are trying to pay bills and you talkin’ about some motherf***ing actors and Oscars. It just ain’t that deep."
She went on to address Pinkett-Smith's request that other actors of color "jeopardize their careers," claiming that she and her husband won’t do the same. While still on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the actress says she asked Will to use his influence to help the others on the show get a raise and that he flat out rejected her. Hubert was infamously replaced by Daphne Reid in 1993 over creative differences. "Well karma must be a bitch because, now, here you are," she added.
Pinkett-Smith has yet to respond to Hubert’s video but academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs released a statement on Monday evening in regard to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. "I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion," she said, according to the LA Times. "This is a difficult but important conversation, and it's time for big change." She added that the academy would be taking "dramatic steps" in an effort for greater diversity.