‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Episode Featuring Will and Carlton Spotlighted Systemic Racism That Still Exists Today

Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro in 'The Fresh Prince'
Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro in ‘The Fresh Prince’ | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

When The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air hit the living rooms in 1990, it was a groundbreaking move. The primarily-Black cast was noteworthy on its own, but it also tackled themes of racial tension and classism in a way that was rarely seen on network television.

While the show was definitely a comedy, there were plenty of heartfelt and serious moments. It was the way the show folded these deeper moments into the comedic mix that made it so noteworthy and kept it on the air —

Modern audiences can definitely tell that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is dated. Everything about it just screams the early 1990s: that hair, those clothes, even the font for the title.

Further marking the hit sitcom as something from another era is the fresh-faced Will Smith at the beginning of his acting career. Clearly, the star has gone on to become one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, starring in a range of films from dramas to comedies to action flicks.

One thing that isn’t dated about The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, though, is its commentary on race relations in America. The show was considered groundbreaking when it aired, and the messages that it sent about race still resonate nearly three decades later.

‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ was groundbreaking

Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro in ‘The Fresh Prince’ | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

When The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air hit the living rooms in 1990, it was a groundbreaking move. The primarily-Black cast was noteworthy on its own, but it also tackled themes of racial tension and classism in a way that was rarely seen on network television.

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While the show was definitely a comedy, there were plenty of heartfelt and serious moments. It was the way the show folded these deeper moments into the comedic mix that made it so noteworthy and kept it on the air — despite the constant risk of cancellation — for six seasons.

Today, the show remains popular and memorable. While many modern-day viewers may have nostalgic memories of the Carlton dance and not all the jokes have aged that well, the series remains a fan favorite. Re-runs have made the show relevant to a whole new generation of viewers, and some of the themes are definitely still resonating with this younger audience.

Race was a major factor in ‘Fresh Prince’

The Fresh Prince nailed the race issue 22 years ago. Sadly, it’s still accurate today. #BlackLivesMatter #EricGarner pic.twitter.com/EsS26aT7Rd

— Bipartisan Report (@Bipartisanism) December 8, 2014

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One of the reasons that The Fresh Prince continues to connect with modern audiences is because the situation portrayed is still recognizable. The premise for the show is that Will, played by

Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet

      

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