Tatyana Ali spoke out in support of her “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” co-star Will Smith, calling him a “beautiful person who has done so much good” despite his past controversies. Ali played Smith’s cousin on the popular sitcom, which ran from 1990 to 1996. She also shared that her family’s support helped her avoid negative outcomes common among former child stars, and that she was good at judging potential friends’ intentions.
Tatyana Ali spoke highly of her “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” co-star Will Smith and refused to discuss his infamous 2022 Oscar slap of Chris Rock, stating that he is someone close to her and it’s hurtful.
Actress Tatyana Ali recently expressed her admiration for her former co-star from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Will Smith. Speaking exclusively to Page Six at Variety’s Power of Women luncheon in New York, Ali praised Smith for the positive things he has done. She refrained from discussing the incident in which Smith slapped Chris Rock after a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, during the 2021 Oscars.
Ali, who played Smith’s younger cousin Ashley Banks on the hit NBC sitcom, attributed her own success to her family. Unlike some former child stars who have struggled with addiction and other issues, Ali credits her family for providing the support and structure necessary for her to thrive.
While Ali was betrayed by friends on occasion, she stated that it was a different era before the rise of social media made such betrayals more widely known. Despite this, she was able to cope with her struggles privately.
Ali graduated from Harvard University in 2002 with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in African-American studies and government. At the same event, author Judy Blume, Natasha Lyonne, Rosie Perez, Kelly Ripa and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez were honored, while Andy Cohen, Aidy Bryant, Sandra Bernhard and Sherri Shepherd were among the other attendees.