After making her almost weekly gaffe, The View co-host Raven-Symoné took to Facebook to make a half-hearted apology. The actress received a lot of criticism when she made disparaging comments about “Black” names.
“I’m very discriminatory against words like the ones they were saying in those names. I’m not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea,” said Raven-Symoné on The View.
However, on Sunday she took to Facebook to apologize for her comments.
“My comment was in poor taste. My lack of empathy towards name discrimination was uncalled for,” she said.
The actress said she had been the victim of discrimination herself and should have been more understanding.
“I have been denied many jobs because of my skin color, body size, and age,” she wrote. “Each time I was rejected, my self esteem was negatively affected, so I empathize with those who feel victimized by what I said.”
Those people who got offended by Raven-Symoné’s latest comments shouldn’t have been surprised. Even before The View gave her a national platform to showcase her ignorance, she was already infamous for making off-the-wall comments about race and identity. In an interview with Oprah, she said, “I have a nice, interesting grade of hair.” She then went on to say that she did not consider herself to be “African-American,” because she also identified with Asian, white and Native American culture.
And during an interview with E! correspondent Alicia Quarles, Raven-Symoné revealed her ignorance about geography when she said, “Thank you to Ancestry.com for sending me my DNA test … I am from every continent in Africa except for one and I’m also from every continent in Europe except for one.”
But in spite of her track record of making ignorant statements, someone at The View decided it was a good idea to give her a regular spot. This may have been a cynical ratings ploy. Allowing Raven-Symoné to make dumb statements might be bad for her image, but it generates clicks and eyeballs for The View.
So far, she hasn’t disappointed. Earlier this year she defended Univision host Rodner Figueroa, who was fired for comparing Michelle Obama to a cast member of Planet of the Apes.
“Michelle, don’t fire me right now,” she said, “but some people look like animals. I look like a bird. Can I be mad if somebody calls me Toucan Sam?”
Huffington Post writer Zeba Blay said making ignorant comments is a regular occurrence for Raven-Symoné.
“We seem to have entered into a weird, exhausting merry-go-round with Raven-Symoné,” said Blay. “The actress and View co-host will say something inflammatory about race, get heavily criticized for it, and days later issue something vaguely resembling an apology. We’ll roll our eyes, and brace ourselves for the next ridiculous comment. Rinse, wash, repeat.”
Blay declared Raven-Symoné a “lost cause,” who had subconsciously bought into Hollywood’s racial ideals.
“How many chances does Raven-Symoné actually deserve? Her clear internalized racism is obviously not solely of her own creation, but a result of trying to succeed in a business that, even she admits, has discriminated against her,” Blay wrote.