Janet Hubert, who played Aunt Vivian for the first three seasons of the show, admitted that, during Season 3 (and her pregnancy), things at home weren’t going well, and no one really knew it about any of it, including her castmates (Janet likened the isolation she felt to being “banished” from the cast). Will admits that, as a 21-year-old, he did make the set harder than it needed to be for Janet. Couple that with what Janet described as a bad deal she got from NBC, and it built up a bad rep for her when she was let go because she didn’t take the contract. In the media, it was played a different way, and there wasn’t much for Janet to do but step inward.
Will calling Janet “difficult” seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, and forced her to do the only thing she probably could do and lash out. Decades later, it was amazing to see Janet and Will sit together, having that moment. The fact that it took this special for Daphne Maxwell Reid (the second Aunt Vivian) and Janet to meet is wild, but also necessary.