Fierce

Will Smith And Aunt Viv Finally Confronted Their Decades-Long ‘Fresh Prince’ Rift —”It’s hard enough being a dark-skinned black woman”

The Tale of Aunt Viv was probably every millennial’s first-ever encounter with a celebrity feud played out on screen. Vivian Banks was the beloved maternal aunt of Will Smith’s “Fresh Prince” and captivated the hearts of young viewers for her no-nonsense and nurturing character. She was astute, career-driven, and had some incredible vocal chops. Or at least, that’s how she was when actress Janet Hubert portrayed her during the first two seasons. Then actress Daphne Maxwell Reid took on the role. Suddenly Aunt Viv became quite a bit less fiery and more likely to support her children’s strange decisions. Still lovable, not totally recognizable.

Of course, it didn’t take long for rumors about a set dispute between Hubert and Smith to reveal that the original Aunt Viv had been forced out of the role. The rumors became one of the biggest bits of celebrity chisme in homes and got more attention as the characters made jokes about Hubert. You may remember Will occasionally referring to Hubertin family photos as looking “mannish.”

Fortunately, it looks like Will Smith and his former co-star Janet Hubert are finally having a heart-to-heart about their old brawl.

NBC

In an emotional episode of The Red Table Talk, Will Smith sat down with Janet Hubert ahead of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast reunion to lay it all out there. Jumping into Jada-mode, Smith sat down with Hubert at the Red Table to discuss why campaigned against Aunt Viv almost thirty years ago.

You might remember Smith claimed in a radio interview soon after Hubert was pushed out from the show that he could “say straight up that Janet Hubert wanted the show to be The Aunt Viv of Bel-Air show, because I know she is going to dog me in the press… She has basically gone from a quarter of a million dollars a year to nothing. She’s mad now, but she’s been mad all along. She said once, ‘I’ve been in the business for 10 years, and this snotty-nosed punk comes along and gets a show.’ No matter what, to her, I’m just the Anti-Christ.”

In response, Hubert hit back saying “He probably is responsible for my firing… He has a lot of clout. It’s too bad that it’s a Black-on-Black attack. I have tried not to name names. I have more class than that. I wish Will would tell the truth. If you’re going to talk, tell the truth. He has gotten me fired from the show, and now he’s trying to get my career snatched away from me.”

Of course, neither of their interviews told the whole story. During the reunion special, Hubert revealed that she found herself stuck in an abusive relationship during the third season and pregnant. “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 revealed that during the third season of the show she was edged out with a deal she could not accept. “They said you’ve got two months and two weeks of work, and you cannot work anywhere else,” she revealed. “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. I was never fired. So the misconception was always put out there. I was trapped. What could I do? So they said, ‘Okay, we’re going to recast your role.’ And I said, what could I say? I was hurt deeply.”

In a separate interview, Smith admitted he “wasn’t sensitive, I wasn’t perceptive… Now that I’ve had three kids, I’ve learned some things I did not know at the time and I would do things very differently. I can see where I made the set very difficult for Janet.”

Speaking on the Red Table Talk, Hubert told Smith how her life fell apart after show.

“When I left the show, I had this new baby and no one—family disowned me, Hollywood disowned me. My family said you’ve ruined our name,” she explained. “And I wasn’t unprofessional on the set. I just stopped talking to everybody because I didn’t know who to trust because I had been banished. And they said it was you who banished me. Because you were Will. You were a kid. It was hard.”

“I was 21 years old. Everything was a threat to me,” Smith explained. “I was so driven by fear and jokes and comedy, and all of that.”

In a separate interview for the Red Table Talk, Smith spoke with YouTube’s Dr. Ramani Durvasula to go over clips of his sit-down with Hubert to dive into his behavior and mindset as a rising sitcom star.

Smith explained that the childhood abuse he experienced at the hands of his father caused him to feel a deep sense of insecurity. “On my ‘little boy in me’ level, I needed Mommy to think I was great,” he explained, referring to his desire to have Hubert’s approval. “And then once I realized that she didn’t, my dragon woke up.”

This behavior, Hubert says, destroyed her career. “Words can kill,” Hubert told Smith. “I lost everything. Reputation, everything. Everything. 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. It’s hard enough being a dark-skinned black woman in this business but I felt it was necessary for us to finally move forward. And I’m sorry that I have blasted you to pieces.”

In the end Smith and Hubert seemed to find strength and love for each other in their reunion. “I am so thankful for all the love being shown and the understanding,” Hubert tweeted Thursday. “Will and team let me participate in whatever I wanted and felt comfortable doing. After 27 years of disconnect, we are all different people. It was great seeing everyone, life is too short!”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Ecuadorian Sisters, 3 And 5, Dropped By Smugglers From 14 Ft High Mexico-US Border Wall

Things That Matter

Ecuadorian Sisters, 3 And 5, Dropped By Smugglers From 14 Ft High Mexico-US Border Wall

New York Post

A recent video shared by a border patrol agent highlighted a shocking moment of smugglers literally dropping two little girls over a 14-foot high fence in the New Mexico desert. Right in the dead of night.

In the disturbing video, the smugglers can be seen climbing the fence and then dropping the two 5-year-old and 3-year-old sisters to the ground.

El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez shared that the incident occurred “miles from the nearest residence.”

The two little girls (Yareli, 3, and Yasmina, 5) were rescued after agents spotted them during a virtual surveillance sweep. The two sisters are from Ecuador and were dumped by human smugglers at the border wall according to an official.

“[US Immigration officials] need to verify the identity of the parents and confirm they are the parents and make sure they are in good condition to receive the girls,” Magdalena Nunez, of the Consulate of Ecuador in Houston, explained to The New York Post on Thursday. “It’s a process … We’re working to make sure it’s an expedited process and the girls spend as minimal time as possible separated from their parents.”

“Hopefully it can happen soon, in a week or two, but  it can take up to six weeks. We are working to make sure sure it happens as quickly as possible,” she explained before noting that the two sisters are “doing very well.”

“We have been in contact with them and confirmed they are in good health,” Nunez shared. “Physically, they are perfect — emotionally, obviously, they went through a hard time, but I guarantee you right now they are in good health and they are conversing. They are very alert, very intelligent.”

In a statement about the incident, the Ecuadorian consulate confirmed that the two girls had been in touch with their parents, who live in New York City.

“The Ecuadorian Consulate in Houston had a dialogue with the minors and found that they are in good health and that they contacted their parents, who currently live in New York City,” explained the consulate.

In a statement from the girls’ parents sent to Telemundo, the girls’ parents had left their daughters behind at their home in Jaboncillo, Ecuador, to travel to the US. The parents of the two girls have been identified as Yolanda Macas Tene and Diego Vacacela Aguilar. According to the New York Post, “The girls’ grandparents have asked President Biden to reunite the children with their parents. Aguilar paid a human smuggler to take his kids to the border — though the grandparents didn’t know how much they paid.”

“[The parents] wanted to be with them, their mother suffered a lot, for that reason they decided to take them,” paternal grandfather Lauro Vacacela explained in an interview with Univision.

It is still uncertain as to whether or not the girls’ parents are in the country legally.

Photos of the girls showed them having snacks with Agent Gloria Chavez.

“When I visited with these little girls, they were so loving and so talkative, some of them were asking the names of all the agents that were there around them, and they even said they were a little hungry,” Chavez told Fox News. “So I helped them peel a banana and open a juice box and just talked to them. You know, children are just so resilient and I’m so grateful that they’re not severely injured or [have] broken limbs or anything like that.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Harvard- Bound Latina Daughter Of Undocumented Immigrants Accepted To Four Ivy League Schools

Fierce

Harvard- Bound Latina Daughter Of Undocumented Immigrants Accepted To Four Ivy League Schools

santaana_highschool / Instagram

With her family crowded around her computer, Santa Ana High School senior Stephany Gutiérrez anxiously checked the status of her college applications. Like most students, Gutiérrez had her heart settled on top schools but unlike so many, she was accepted into not one but four Ivy League colleges.

In an emotional video, Gutiérrez and her family react as they check the status of her admission to find that she was accepted into Columbia University, Brown, and Dartmouth.

Gutiérrez was recently accepted into Harvard, Brown, Dartmouth, and Columbia.

The daughter of undocumented immigrants and with dreams to become a pro-bono attorney, Gutiérrez was accepted into four of the five colleges she applied to. No surprise, she also got into her first choice, Harvard.

“It was difficult, my parents are still illegal immigrants here in the United States. Their support in particular has been excellent, my father and mother have always told me that education is the way to get ahead,” Gutiérrez explained in a recent interview with Univision.

In the video, Gutierrez reads off her acceptance status to each school to her extremely thrilled parents.

“I got in!” she can be heard saying of her acceptance to Columbia University and then the other Ivy League schools.

“It took like an hour or two for the news to settle in,” Gutierrez explained in an interview with CBS. “I was in disbelief. I was like, wait, actually, let me go back and read all of it, maybe I missed a part, but, yeah, it’s starting to settle in. It’s very exciting.”

Gutierrez’s mentor Gloria Montiel-Itzel, an alumna of both Santa Ana High School and Harvard, underlined in a recent interview that it takes more than good grades to get into Ivy League schools.

“I think it’s a commitment to something other than themselves,” she explained about Gutierrez and two other seniors (Oziel Flores and Cielo Echegoyen) in her class who were also recently accepted to Harvard. “And I think all three of them, in different ways, have really shown that they care more about their community, their school and making things better for others, and I think that’s something that Harvard really loves.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com