During Raven-Symoné’s tenure on The View, she has created a nice role for herself as the girl who plays with fire. She takes glee in setting the Internet ablaze daily. She manages to elicit a very special type of hate-watching and Internet response reserved only for the most scorned TV characters or personalities. She could teach classes in how to get itchy Twitter fingers going.
During last week’s coverage of a police officer’s assault on a Black female student at Spring Valley High School, Raven-Symoné spewed, “We don’t know what she said, but she did not get up. They called [Fields] as a last resort. He talked to her for 30 seconds and she still didn’t get up. She still didn’t put the phone away. You do not need to be manhandling a child that way, but at the same time, kids, put your phones away.” Her congregation, the audience, applauded.
After so many straws on an already broken camel’s back, a petition has emerged on Change.org calling for producer Barbara Walters to remove Raven-Symoné from The View. The petition has garnered over 129,000 signatures thus far. The petition’s organizer, Che Scott-Heron from the United Kingdom, states on the home page, “African Americans and black people around the diaspora need a voice representative of their views and not a voice representative of what white people want us to say. We need strong black role models in prominent positions on television and Raven-Symoné cannot provide that. That is why I ask that we petition to remove her from The View.”
ABC has since released a statement. “We love Raven. She is confident, genuine and opinionated, all qualities that make her a great addition to the panel.”
ABC is playing their part, backing Raven-Symoné because people are talking about what’s happening on The View, as opposed to what’s happening behind the scenes of The View, which could easily be the subject of an unauthorized Lifetime movie in five years.
The producers on The View knew what they were getting into once they signed her to be a permanent co-host. It’s become apparent the fires she starts, whether by design or accident, are inciting attention in a way the show has been lacking in a long time. Scott-Heron even admits on the petition page that, “the likelihood that The View will remove Raven-Symone is very slim, but this petition has created conversation, it has unified us, it has brought awareness to the issue and public media sources have stated out complaints that is the first step.”
This is the key. There are no more excuses. The next step, the one that speaks louder than words, is ratings. Raven-Symoné is playing her role to perfection. It’s time for serious viewers wanting change to do the same. No one can get sick if there’s no exposure to the contamination. She hasn’t shown in any way, shape or form that she’s an informed individual, and will continue to use her pulpit to preach the same sermon.
Raven-Symoné will continue to say the darndest things. Now it’s up to the audience to play their role as informed individuals wise to her act, and change the channel.