Bel-Air’s Akira Akbar Dishes On What Makes Her Ashley Banks Different From the Original ‘Fresh Prince’ Version

Akira Akbar is opening up about her Bel-Air character Ashley Banks.

The 16-year-old actress currently stars on the Peacock series as the character, which was originated by Tatyana Ali on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in the ’90s.

In a new interview, Akira spoke about how the character has evolved from then ’til now.

See what she said inside…

“It differs because it’s such a different time now. The Fresh Prince was in the ’90s, and Bel-Air is happening now. We cover many issues teenagers are dealing with now, especially teens in the LGBTQ+ community,” she told Byrdie. “It’s important to show that on screen, and I’m glad they’re putting stories like this in shows because it helps people understand that they’re not alone.”

Akira also opened up about demonstrating Black excellence on the show through Ashley.

“We demonstrate Black excellence and Black beauty so well, especially with the stories we tell. Black storytelling is super important to the world of Bel-Air. This season, Ashley finds herself in a new position, thanks to her teacher, who gives her books to read. The story gives the audience insight into Ashley’s path [to] becoming an activist in the Black community,” she shared.

You can catch Akira Akbar in new episodes of Bel-Air on Thursdays on Peacock.

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