The Messy Feud Will Smith Had With One Of His Fresh Prince Co-Stars

Will Smith's reputation as one of Hollywood's nicest guys took a major hit after the March 2022 Oscar Awards. After presenter Chris Rock joked about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, wearing her head bald that night, Smith walked onstage and struck Rock across the face. The fan backlash was immediate and many even believed Smith should have been arrested. The "Emancipation" star did face some harsh consequences. In addition to resigning from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Smith received a 10-year ban from all Academy events, including the annual Oscars, per BBC

Despite Smith's multiple public apologies to Rock, the veteran comedian hasn't been all that receptive to reconciliation. In his July 2022 apology video, Smith shared that he reached out to Rock, but "the message that came back is he's not ready to talk." During a September 2022 comedy gig with Dave Chappelle, Rock reportedly reflected on the incident and Smith as a person, per the Daily Mail. Describing the Oscar winner as "just as ugly as the rest of us," Rock reportedly told Chappelle that Smith had been doing "the impression of a perfect person for 30 years ... and he ripped his mask off." 

Rock isn't the first person in Hollywood to call Smith out for flaws in his character. The "King Richard" star once had a feud with a former cast-mate that lasted for nearly 30 years.

Will Smith's Fresh Prince costar believed he got her fired

A lot of drama percolated behind the scenes of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." Janet Hubert, who played Aunt Viv on the sitcom from 1990 to 1993, was famously replaced by Daphne Reid through the show's finale in 1996, per Screenrant. Although rumors surfaced that Hubert's pregnancy caused her exit, many people, including Hubert herself, suspected the death knell was her offscreen feud with Smith. As she claimed to "omg! Insider," via Yahoo! in 2013, "He said, 'We're just gonna replace her and act like nothing happened.'" 

Hubert and Smith seemingly clashed big in attitudes. As the former claimed, she was expected to suck up to Smith. "I have an expression, 'If you want me to kiss your butt, you have got to put it in my contract,'" Hubert quipped to "omg! Insider." As for Smith, he previously accused Hubert of harboring jealousy toward him. In a 1993 radio interview, via The Sun, Smith claimed that Hubert "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."

Fortunately, the duo finally made nice during a 2020 HBO reunion special, per People. Hubert admitted to being in a bad place personally during series filming, while Smith confessed to feeling "threatened" by her. In 2021, Hubert informed People that she and Smith now "text each other back and forth all the time."

Will Smith's Ali costar claims he was verbally abusive toward him

Janet Hubert wasn't Will Smith's only former costar to report unpleasant on-set experiences with him. During a February 2022 interview with San Diego's Rock 105.3 radio station, per Us Weekly, Smith's "Ali" costar, Paul Rodriguez, called the movie star "an a**hole" toward him. Playing Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, the personal physician and cornerman to Smith's Muhammad Ali, Rodriguez claimed that Smith was perfectly friendly — until the real-life Pacheco showed up to set one day, inebriated. "He goes into Will Smith's trailer and he's upset that his part isn't bigger," the actor told Rock 105.3. With Pacheco even dropping racial slurs in confronting Smith, police ultimately had to escort him out. "From then on, Will never looked at me the same," Rodriguez said. 

According to the comedian, Smith deflected his anger toward Rodriguez with hostility and offensive verbal comments. Reportedly, he even berated Rodriguez once, "You're a long way from anybody that likes you." As Rodriguez reiterated to The Sun in April 2022, "Chris Rock only took one slap at the Oscars ... but I took a verbal slap from Will Smith every day."

Luckily for Smith, at least one of his other "Ali" costars, Jon Voight, feels quite differently about him. Defending Smith's 2022 Oscars slap, Voight said via the UK's Express, "I know Will very well and I love him, he's a great man. If anyone insulted my wife, I would be pretty angry too."