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Will Smith Blocked RuPaul From Appearing on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Will Smith Blocked RuPaul From Appearing on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Will Smith; RuPaul
NBC; Logo TV

The actor thought that it was “bad idea.”

(Don’t) call her mother.

Thea Glassman’s new book, Freaks, Gleeks, and Dawson’s Creek: How Seven Teen Shows Transformed Television, includes an interview with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air executive producer David Steven Simon. In the passage, Glassman talks about how lead actor Will Smith wasn’t necessarily known for rejecting most ideas… except when someone brought up inviting drag icon RuPaul to appear on the show.

Simon tells Glassman in the book, “I remember him saying that would be a really bad idea. And I said, ‘No, listen, hear my story…’” According to Simon, Smith felt like “having a drag queen on the show was ‘bad idea,’” as reported by People.

“The reason he would say no is because of his image. Period. The end,” Simon concluded.

Interestingly enough, Will's daughter Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” was used as one of the most iconic lip sync songs of all time on Drag Race… an explosive battle between Roxxxy Andrew and Alyssa Edwards that ended up in a double shantay for both queens in season five.

It is also noteworthy that, in 2022, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum Tatyana Ali – who played Smith’s fictional cousin on the show, Ashley Banks – competed in the second season of RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race. As the drag persona Chakra 7, Ali made it all the way to the grand finale, finishing as a runner-up.

It’s possible that Smith was concerned that Fresh Prince audiences wouldn’t respond well to having a drag queen in the series, which aired from 1990 to 1996. On the other hand, RuPaul had just conquered the world with her 1993 hit single “Supermodel (You Better Work)”, so everyone seemed pretty accepting of Ru at this particular time in pop culture.

Reps for Smith didn’t respond to People’s request for comment. Given that he’s kept a low profile in recent years, we might not hear a definitive explanation about this for the time being.

Nonetheless, both RuPaul and Will Smith have flourished in their respective careers – so it all worked out in the end, didn’t it?

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