Janet Hubert, who played Vivian Banks on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, has broken her silence following Will Smith’s dramatic incident with Chris Rock. The actress defended her former co-star, who slapped the comedian during the Oscars 2022 after he made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Janet took to Instagram yesterday to congratulate Will on his Best Actor award, saying she was “proud” of him.
She uploaded a picture of an emotional Will tearing up as he made his acceptance speech.
The actress stressed that his actions were also “incorrect”, adding that Chris “didn’t need to go there”.
She wrote in the caption: “So PROUD OF YOU! Yes there is only so much one can take…sometimes you have to slap back.
“Celebrate the win…nothing else matters. Both actions were incorrect but Chris didn’t need to go there.
“Met him once… it was enough for me…very mean spirited. #kingrichardfirthewin.” (sic)
Janet’s remarks divided social media users, who took to the post’s comments section to debate about Will’s reaction.
Martelle007 said: “What Chris said was tasteless, I agree….but to physically assault someone is unacceptable.”
Gracem14 argued: “Will or Jada didn’t deserve that insult and Will did the right thing for standing up for his wife.”
Lcf_84 penned: “It seemed like Chris just wanted to ruin Will’s night.
“We knew he was going to win. It’s not the first time Chris makes fun of Jada.”
Will has since issued a public apology and expressed “regret” over his actions at the awards ceremony.
He also explained that the joke was “too much for [him] to bear” as Jada suffers from a condition called alopecia which causes hair loss.
In view of his 61 million Instagram followers, Will wrote: “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive.
“My behaviour at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.
“I would like to publicly apologise to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong.
The I Am Legend star added: ”I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.
“I would also like to apologise to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world.
“I would like to apologise to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family.
“I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress. Sincerely, Will.”