A controversial career. Will SmithOver his decades-long career, he was involved in numerous scandals. Some of these scandals even date back to his day. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
When Janet Hubert, who played Aunt Viv on the first three seasons, left the ’90s sitcom due to “creative differences” in 1993, the “Summertime” rapper slammed his former costar during a radio interview. “I can say straight up that Janet Hubert wanted the show to be The Aunt Viv of Bel-Air show,” Smith said at the time, per E! News. “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 Antichrist.”
Though he later apologized for his comments, the Philadelphia native’s remarks marked the start of a years-long feud with Hubert. “There will never be a [Fresh Prince] reunion … as I will never do anything with an a–hole like Will Smith,” the Love LifeActress spoke with TMZ December 2011.
Two years later, Hubert claimed that Smith was spreading “lies” about her behavior on set. “I think what happened, because the audience was so on my side at that time, that Will probably felt like he needed to go out, and he needed to tell a lot of lies. … I have proof that a lot of that didn’t happen,” she told The GrioMarch 2013.
The couple continued their back-and forth for years, before finally burying the hatchet in 2020. Bel-Air: The Fresh Prince reunion special, where Smith acknowledged that he “made the set difficult” for Hubert during the third season.
“Words can kill. I lost everything. Reputation. Everything, everything. I understand you were able to move forward,” she told the AliDuring the HBO Max special. “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. It was essential for us all to move forward. And I’m sorry I have blasted you to pieces.”
Smith began a new Hollywood feud at the 2022 Oscars when he slapping Chris RockDuring the ceremony. After the comedian made a joke about Jada pinkett Smith‘s shaved head, the Oscar winner stormed the stage to defend his wife (who has alopecia) and hit Rock in the face. After he returned to his seat, Smith shouted at Rock, telling him to “Keep my wife’s name out your f–king mouth.”
The “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” rapper apologized the following day for his behavior in a statement shared via Instagram. “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” Smith wrote in March 2022. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was not in line with the rules and I was wrong. I am ashamed of my actions and they are not indicative of the man that I want to become. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
Keep scrolling to relive Smith’s most controversial moments: