Surprise! A new Red Table Talk episode is out now and features Will Smith in conversation with a psychologist as he shares previously-unseen footage from his conversation with Janet Hubert for HBO Max's The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special.
The official description of the new episode, titled “Will Smith’s Red Table Takeover: Resolving Conflict”: Join Will for a special Red Table Takeover when he sits down for an emotional conversation with Janet Hubert, the original Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, to resolve their bitter, 30 year-long feud.
In the episode, he is joined by psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula, who was revealed to be on stand-by for his conversation with Hubert during the special. Durvasula has a conversation with Smith on unpacking how his own traumas from his childhood played a part in how he treated Hubert.
The Red Table Talk episodes shows footage that was not shown in the special, including a moment where both of them had to step away from the conversation because it became so emotional.
Watching footage from their sit-down, Smith appears visibly uncomfortable and bothered by what has come to light.
He explains: “I’m trying to put some logic to it, but the sensation I feel… It’s not who I want to be, and it’s not how I want to make people feel. My whole life and career is centered on aggressively trying to make people feel the opposite of that.”
Smith also spoke about his childhood. “My father was violent in my house, so a part of whole creation of ‘Will Smith’ — the joking, fun, silly — was to make sure that my father was entertained enough not to hurt my mother or anybody in the house. … People laughing and having fun was my defense mechanism," he admitted.
The actor explained that he applied some of that trauma to his time on the show, explaining that he “needed everybody to be joyful so I could feel safe.” And once Hubert no longer fit that, due to her own abusive home at the time, he felt “threatened.”
“At that point in my career, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air really saved my life,” he added. “I had a few years in the music business, but I lost all my money. I didn’t pay taxes, I was in debt to the IRS. The Fresh Prince represented life.”
He also spoke again about believing that Hubert didn't like him, something that fed off of his traumas as well because of his issues with disapproval from women. He says that his relationship with his daughter Willow is the only“female relationship that he didn't mess up."
“Because of my dynamic with my mother as a little boy — my father beat my mother and I couldn’t protect her — female disapproval is unbearable. My body can’t handle it.
“My father was violent in my house...So a part of the whole creation of Will Smith, the joking, fun, silly, was to make sure my father was entertained enough not to hurt my mother or anybody in the house. The little boy in me level, with Hubert, I needed Mommy to think I was great. And when I realized she didn't, my dragon woke up."
This reconciliation for Smith and Hubert opened Smith's eyes to a lot. "I'm not arrogant enough to think my actions and behavior were perfect. My actions and behavior were flawed and hurtful. Probably there's nobody on Earth who'd say I hurt them that bad."
Watch the full episode below:
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