22 People, Places and Things Less Petty Than Janet Hubert

There’s no limit to her petty.

Janet Hubert as Aunt Viv in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Janet Hubert as Aunt Viv in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air IMDb

Early Monday morning, Jada Pinkett Smith logged on to Facebook to tell the world that we should all boycott the Oscars because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences didn’t see it for Will Smith’s interpretation of an Igbo accent. 

That same MLK Day, “blacktress” Janet Hubert (aka the original Aunt Viv) popped open her laptop, picked her favorite filter on Photo Booth, poured some of her magnum bottle of Sutter Home chardonnay … and proceeded to get in that ass harder than when she put on her pink unitard and showed those white women how to fouetté on the 2s and 4s.

Now, whether or not you agree with Hubert is fairly irrelevant. I personally think she made some salient points, but I also think that hot wings are a breakfast food and that Willie Norwood Jr. is a national treasure, so you may want to take my opinions with a grain of salt. 

Regardless, in a four-minute video and a 150-word Facebook comment, Madame Hubert proceeded to be pettier than the number I saw on the bathroom scale after the holidays. She was Petty Pendergrass. Petty and the Jets. Petty LaBelle. The limit to her petty does not exist. 

I know it’s not February yet, but here’s an early black-history fact for you: Any rant that starts with a middle-aged black auntie going “Well, first of all, Miss Thang,” guarantees first-ballot entry into the petty Hall of Fame. When you’re able to incorporate a 25-year-old beef into a present-day discussion, you deserve your praise. In my arbitrary ranking of petty behavior, Hubert ranks above the following: 

1. The security officer who sees you come into work every day but still insists that you show your government ID when you forget your badge.

2.Chante’s Got a Man.” Few things are pettier than gathering your girlfriends who have been cheated and mistreated by the men in their lives to let them know that at least you have a man at home who treats you well, and too bad for them and their tragic-ass lives.

3. My group texts whenever I see that Serge Ibaka and Keri Hilson are back together after an extended Instagram-photo hiatus.

4. The Popeyes employee who just took out a fresh batch of spicy chicken from the oil but still tries to give you the old work that’s just been sitting there. This is seriously one of the top 10 forms of disrespect you can commit against someone. It’s like you approached the lady behind the register with a dap and he or she came back at you with a tepid high five.

5. Everyone’s metabolism after the age of 25. I keep trying to calculate the number of miles I have to run to counteract the effects of last week’s hot wings, and I just get back “does not compute.” And my lower intestines are still processing that burger I ate a week ago. And my scale is just not budging. All my life I had to fight!

6. The Beyhive.

7. Norm Kelly—or, rather, Norm’s daughter’s 19-year-old Jamaican boyfriend in Windsor, Ontario, who is clearly drafting his tweets for him. What 74-year-old white man is taking time out of his day to craft Meek Mill memes

8. Drake’s rant at the end of “Diamonds Dancing.” I don’t know who Drake is subbing here, but whichever poor exotic dancer is the subject of Aubrey’s latest attentions, she deserves better than a Toronto-area rapper on a newfangled HGH diet telling her “your momma would be ashamed of you.”

9. Uber surge pricing on New Year’s Eve. Oh, you can’t catch a cab in New York City to save your life and trains are a joke after 2 a.m.? Well, for the low, low price of 13 times $20, you don’t have to attempt to drunk-drive down the West Side Highway!