Aunt Viv still has love for the Fresh Prince.
Janet Hubert — who originated the character Vivian Banks in the 1990s TV series starring Will Smith — came to the new Oscar winner’s defense after the “King Richard” actor slapped comedian Chris Rock during the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday.
“So PROUD OF YOU!” she posted on Instagram after Smith, 53, accepted his Best Actor honors for playing Richard Williams, father and coach to tennis legends Venus and Serena.
Hubert then addressed the earlier fiasco.
“There is only so much one can take… sometimes you have to slap back,” Hubert, 66, continued. “Celebrate the win… nothing else matters. Both actions were incorrect but Chris didn’t need to go there.”
She added of the “Everybody Hates Chris” creator: “Met him once… it was enough for me… very mean spirited.”
Over on Twitter, she elaborated even further.
“I cannot tell you how many times I have wanted to slap the mess out of so many folks who have disrespected me,” she wrote. “Will stood up for his wife, Chris Rock is always disrespecting Black women. Mean spirited hides behind comedy. BULL”
The shocking Oscars moment was prompted by a dig from Rock, 57, at Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, 50, who suffers from hair loss due to alopecia. “Jada, I love ya. ‘GI Jane 2’ — can’t wait to see it,” he joked from the stage. Cameras then turned to the “Red Table Talk” host, who showed her grimace in response.
Seconds later, Smith could be seen walking onto the stage without explanation, then winding up and taking a swing at Rock. “Wow — Will Smith just smacked the s–t out of me,” the presenter said as Smith exited the stage and was quickly joined by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, who appeared to console both Will and Jada.
Much of the audio during their heated exchange was muted for US audiences. But back in his seat, Smith could be seen mouthing the words, “Keep my wife’s name out your f–king mouth.” The loud exchange was not censored in some other countries.
The beloved actor once counted Hubert among his few famous feuds. It’s been reported that a fallout between the two “Fresh Prince” stars catalyzed Hubert’s exit from the show, with her then replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid as Aunt Viv for the remaining three seasons.
Hubert once blamed Smith, a producer on the show, for her abrupt departure and the gossip that ensued, according to her 2009 tell-all memoir, “Perfection Is Not a Sitcom Mom.”
A 2016 Los Angeles Times interview revealed how Hubert felt shunned by her former castmates and the industry following her exit. “Take it from me… [I was] blacklisted. Black listed, truly. I couldn’t feed my child. They left me penniless, homeless and worthless. But what I always had was my dignity and I always will,” she said.
Her comments then were spurred by Jada and Will’s proposed boycott of the Oscars that year, which Hubert characterized as a “contrived” publicity ploy.
“The Smiths just irked me because they are such pretenders, and everything is a photo op,” Hubert also dished.
“Yeah, it felt like Jesus forgave Judas, didn’t it?” she told The Post in 2021 regarding their burying of the hatchet and the well-wishes she received from fans.