Will Smith allegedly rejected a cameo by popular drag queen RuPaul on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” because he feared his public image would be tainted.
RuPaul was a superstar on the club scene in the 1990s thanks to tracks like “Supermodel (You Better Work).”
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” ran from September 10, 1990, to May 20, 1996 on NBC.
It was Smith’s first major role. The “Parents Just Don’t Understand” rapper had the power to approve or reject guest appearances and scripts on the series.
In an extract from an upcoming book, obtained by Yahoo! Entertainment, journalist Thea Glassman recalled what happened when executive producer David Steven Simon suggested the RuPaul cameo during a meeting with Smith.
“I remember him saying that would be a really bad idea,” said Simon.
“Smith just kept repeating that it was a bad idea. ‘OK, OK. We don’t need to do it.'”
“The reason he would say no is because of his image. Period. The End,” Simon recalled.
Smith was plagued by gay rumors throughout his career. The rumors continue to this day.
After the “Fresh Prince” series ended in 1996, Smith went on to play bigger and better roles in blockbuster films, including the Men in Black franchise, Muhammad Ali (2012) and King Richard (2021) for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor at the 2022 Oscar Awards.
But his career was derailed when he slapped A-list comedian Chris Rock during the ceremony. Smith is banned from the Oscars ceremony for 10 years and he was blacklisted by the movie industry.
The only roles Smith lands now are movies that he and his wife, Jada, produce or finance themselves.
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