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These 6 Gaffes Leave Us Wondering What Will Raven-Symoné Say Next?

These 6 Gaffes Leave Us Wondering What Will Raven-Symoné Say Next?

These 6 Gaffes Leave Us Wondering What Will Raven-Symoné Say Next?

The queer daytime tv show host put her foot in her mouth once again the other day. Do I have to actually start tuning in to The View?

Out actress and personality Raven-Symoné has had an interesting take on various subjects during her career on The View. From trying to define her identity, to making insensitive remarks to guests, to displaying internalized racism and homophobia, I never know what she's going to come up with next. Here are six of her most egregious gaffes. 

Raven On Ethnic Names 

 

Maybe it had just been a while since she looked at her own driver's license, but the actress whose name is highly unique, and who once played a character who didn't get hired because of her race, said, "And I am very discriminatory against words like the ones that they were saying in the video. I’m not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea. It’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to hire you.”

After Twitter blew up, with Jamil Smith from New Republic aptly pointing out the internalized racism of such a remark, Raven backtracked a little bit by saying, "I have never discriminated." This is a bit like if someone were to say, "gay people shouldn't have children" and then try to take it back a little bit by saying, "I have gay friends." Raven's father, who presumably had a hand in naming her Raven-Symoné, has issued a statement that his daughter sometimes says "dumb shit."

On Danny Pintauro and HIV 

When the former co-star of Who's the Boss stopped by the set the other week to talk about his experience being HIV+, fellow child-stars Raven-Symoné and Candace Cameron Bure had a chance to show compassion and understanding. Although the two co-hosts typically find themselves on opposing sides of LGBT-related issues, they both were spectacularly tone deaf and insensitive in the interview. Raven interrupted Pintauro to make the conversation about her, and she also displayed a lack of awareness of what HIV/AIDS is and how it works. To add insult to ignorance, Raven then turned to Pintauro's husband, who was in the audience, and asked him, "You guys have been together for three and a half years, do you have protected or unprotected sex?"

Cue jaw drop.

 

 

On Women on 20s

It's really a matter of personal opinion which historically important woman you want to be represented on our nation's currency (if any, though let's be real, it's about time). That said, when you protest Harriet Tubman having been chosen, it should probably be for a good reason. Tubman is an American hero who helped spy on the Confederacy, plotted guerilla warfare, and led hundreds of slaves to freedom. Raven's logic, however, is that she isn't a recent enough figure in American history. She even went so far as to say, "I don't like that idea [of Harriet Tubman on the $20]."

"I think we need to move a little bit forward. Let me just preface that I understand the history, I get it, trust me, I was taught, I'm in that culture... Me personally, I would have chosen Rosa Parks," said Raven. "I would have chosen someone that is closer to the progression that we're doing now. And I know you have to understand history so that you don't repeat it, but that doesn't really happen in our world, because we still repeat history of hating other cultures over and over again. So I would choose a different one, no offense."

 

 

On Queer Identity

In 2013, Raven sent out a celebratory tweet after a Supreme Court ruling saying, "I can finally get married! Yay government! So proud of you." The media jumped the gun on this statement and started labeling her a lesbian and/or gay. In a later interview with Oprah, she expressed discomfort with the terms. Plenty of women in our community are, of course, not the biggest fans of those words (I personally go back and forth on "lesbian"). Her explanation is, "I don’t want to be labeled gay. I want to be labeled a human who loves humans." Okay, but, like... are you one of us? Can I call you an "out actress" when I write about you? 

 

 

On Racial Identity

I will give Raven credit for one part of a particular interview with E! News. In discussing her family's history and her rejection of the term African American, she noted "for the last 400 years, my family has been living in Virginia. How long do you have to be in one country before you’re [considered part of it]?" That said, she also claimed, "I am from every continent in Africa, except for one. And I am from every continent in Europe, except for one."

 

 

On Michelle Obama

Earlier this year, Univision's Rodner Figueroa made a horrific comparison between Michelle Obama and a gorilla, saying that she looked like she was part of the cast of Planet of the Apes. When his comments were brought up on The View, Raven had the bad sense to try to defend Figueroa, saying, "some people look like animals. Is that true?...I look like a bird. Can I be mad if somebody calls me Toucan Sam?" Well, technically, yes you can. But the analogy is subpar anyway. There aren't racist connotations to saying a woman with splendid and ever-changing hair looks like a bird. There's definitely a racist subtext to declaring that a black person looks like an ape, however.

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Ellen Wall