In her alternately plaintive and scathing memoir, actress Janet Hubert, known as Vivian Banks on the popular 90's sitcom 'Fresh Prince of Bel Air,' strikes back at former colleagues whom she says denigrated her name and hurt her career.
In 'Perfection Is Not A Sitcom Mom,' Hubert addresses her departure from the show in 1993 and the toll it took on her personal and emotional life. She talks exclusively to BV on Books about what motivated her to write the book and what she's up to today:
Black Voices: What motivated you to write your memoir?
Janet Hubert: I decided to publish my memoir because I saw this YouTube rant that Alfonso Ribeiro [Carlton] had done about me. He said I was crazy and that I was fired and that I was out of my mind. No one ever defends black women, so I had to do it myself. I wrote it for clarity, to clear my clear my name. I got tired of answering questions about why I left. I answer every single question. In the book, I also talk about how words can kill. You don't take someone's life and just step on it, and you don't take my family's name and destroy it.
BV: What are the most surprising things readers will learn?
JH: My departure was planned for a long time...There will never be a reunion of the 'Fresh Prince.' Will Smith and Alfonso destroyed a 20-year-career with untruths. I got slammed. Will apologized later in an 'Essence Magazine' article, but it still lingers. It's still there...
BV: What have you been up to?
JH: I live on the East Coast. I love the East Coast because there is energy, something else other than entertainment. On the West Coast, everyone is waiting to be discovered. I've been here now for 11 years. My son Elijah is 16. He'll be in college next year.
I've created a children's book series called 'JG & the BC Kids.' It's about a little boy who solves a complicated mathematical equation that opens his imagination and out comes a teacher who takes him and his friends on an adventure.
BV: What's next on the horizon?
JH: I'm quite content. I'm getting my son off to college. I'm remarried and living peacefully. I've written a pilot for a dramady. I'm doing some pitches and I'm going to start [filming] soon...