Fresh Prince: New Vivian or Original Vivian?


Daphne Maxwell Reid (Vivian from S5-6) gets alot of flack over the years since she replaced Janet Hubert. It feels like they completely rewrote the role of Vivian once Daphne came on the show to adjust to Daphnes strengths as an actor.

Because of this, Vivian went from being a main character , to more of a supporting role in Season 5-6.

Both have some great moments. Two totally different takes on the character. Which do you prefer?
Old Vivian, too bad she had problems with Will Smith.
She went off on a lot of people on set apparently. Alfonso/Calrton literally said that B----- is crazy. But yea, she was jealous that Will who had just entered the industry had his own show. I think that's where a lot of the anger came from.
After hearing about how horrible a person the old Vivian was to people on the set in general;

New Vivian. No one likes working with an asshole. Even a talented one, kick rocks sweety. The only major issue was them filing down the part. When the new one came in she was clearly downgraded to a side character, so we lost a major character in the show as viewers, that part sucked.


Supersonic, idiotic, disconnecting, not respecting, who would really ever wanna go and top that
OG Viv had attitude. She popped off the screen. New Viv was like your typical sitcom mom.
Original Vivian was better, it's a shame that the actress didn't get on with the cast.

Original.. she was an actual character with a personality. Her replacement was a prototypical TV wife.
This pretty much, new Vivian was a bore and I think only had one episode that focused on her while rest of the times she was pretty much a background character.
I don't fault the new one. The old one is why we ended up with a new actress to being with. The character wasn't as good once the recasting to place but that's on the writers. However by then the overall stories were focused on Will, Carlton, and Phil anyway. As Will Smith got better and better as an actor I think the character would have always ended up a background character.
Reading up on it:

Will Smith said:
"I can say straight up that Janet Hubert wanted the show to be 'The Aunt Viv of Bel Air Show' because I know she is going to dog me in the press," Smith told an Atlanta radio station.

"She has basically gone from a quarter of a million dollars a year to nothing. 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."
Alfonso said:
"Basically, at the end of the day, the b*tch was crazy. She went nuts!"

"There were days when we were all on the set and she would literally go off on people and it got to a point by the time the second season came around where we we're like, 'This is unacceptable'.

"We felt like when we were doing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, that we were a family...She, at that point, ruined that, and she made it very difficult for us to work, and unfortunately she was then fired. They brought in Daphne Maxwell-Reid, who we absolutely loved, and we moved on. Oh well."
Janet Hubert said:
"Janet Hubert was never difficult on that set. Janet Hubert was so professional, it wasn't even funny," said the actress. "I think Will simply needed to win, and I think sometimes when you get caught up in a lie and those things never happened."

"I think he was young and he was inexperienced," she said of Smith at the time.
Yes she is talking about herself in the 3rd person, which doesn't exactly come off as level-headed.
Original.. she was an actual character with a personality. Her replacement was a prototypical TV wife.

They didn't just change the actress, they changed the character.

Original Aunt Viv had a personality, stated interests and even her own story arcs. She was an educated career woman who chose to stay home, but you saw glimpses of this in her character. It wasn't something that was just said in the dialogue, as shown in one of the most memorable scenes from the show:

No offense to the actress who played New Aunt Viv, but they gave her none of this. She became a background character. A typical TV mom whose only job was to go "tsk tsk tsk" in the background.

Word has it that this change in character had a LOT to do with the war backstage between the actress who played Original Viv and Will, which, WHEW LORD if you know about any of that shit...
Original Vivian: Strong dark-skinned, which is important,
black woman and a great role model for young black girls. A career woman who made a lot of herself. A loving mother and supportive wife. She is often a guiding hand for Will, her children and her husband.

Replacement Vivian: Much lighter skinned. House wife that does nothing but take care of Nicky. She is only there to do three things. Contribute to the B-plot of the episode, make off-hand comments to the main-plot, be mad at Phil.