Will Smith just dropped off his new memoir, Will, offering an unadulterated glimpse into his life and career with stories that have yet to surface. We’ve heard a few tales about his relationship woes including a deep attraction to his Six Degrees Of Separation co-star Stockard Channing.
One of the latest excerpts that have gained attention since its release is an anecdote of Will’s time on The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air. As we all know, it was his first leap into the world of acting following a successful stint as part of the Grammy-award-winning rap duo, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. As he successfully made the transition into television, he explained how he ended up getting into a shouting match with an executive at NBC who seemingly threatened his career for a bit of improv on set.
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Per Page Six, Will explained how he, his producing partner James Lassiter, and two of the show’s producers, Benny Medina and Jeff Pollack, were called into the unnamed executive’s office who gave the actor an earful. “I’ve seen this happen a thousand f–king times,” Will recounted the exec saying. “You can be gone just as fast as you got here.”
The executive continued to berate Will Smith and co. but Lassiter eventually started to feel threatened, picking up a snowglobe as a weapon in case things went left. “So you can unilaterally change any of the words you want on a network sitcom, huh?” the exec continued. “Hundreds of millions of dollars, multiple partners, a s–t-ton of f–king veterans of the business … and you get to decide what the words are?”
“What the f–k you wanna do, bitch?” Smith recalled telling the executive. “Who the f–k is you talkin’ to?” he continued before demanding that the executive sit down. “Sit down when you talk to me,” Smith said. “SIT. THE. F–K DOWN.”
Ultimately, the executive laid off Will Smith, saying that he had just gone through surgery that prevented him from sitting down. And while the message came across loud and clear, Smith said that he immediately started to go into a state of panic and called Quincy Jones who told him it was nothing more than an exchange of “creative differences,” as long as things didn’t get physical.
“We were coming from violent homes and violent neighborhoods and the violent music world,” Smith explained of the kerfuffle. “It was not unreasonable to think that an executive might get violent. We felt cornered and vulnerable.”