Raven-Symoné's capacity to offend seems to know no bounds, landing herself in hot water (yet again) after saying she wouldn't hire someone with a 'black' name.
The 29-year-old actress/musician, best known for starring in the Disney Channel series That's So Raven, has seemingly 'matured' into the worst kind of generational spokesperson, repeatedly making eyes roll and heads shake with her shortsighted, foot-in-mouth comments on The View.
First came her defense of Venezuelan host Rodner Figueroa, who said Michelle Obama looked like a member of the Planet of the Apes cast, not so subtlety stating that some people did indeed look like animals. Next she set Twitter on fire by declaring that she didn't consider herself an African American. The anti-labelling sentiment at least seemed to come from the right place, but again, it was clumsily expressed.
Now, just when you thought she'd finally learned to think before speaking, Raven-Symoné did it again. As the cast of The View discussed a viral video that featured children saying “ghetto black names” like “Fo’Landra” and “Elephantisha,” the actress saw a good opportunity to chime in.
Raven-Symoné interrupted to make an uncharacteristically reasonable point, asking for the outmoded term 'racist' to be replaced by 'discriminatory'... and then immediately proceeded to advocate for discriminatory employment practices on national TV:
"Just to bring it back, can we take back ‘racist’ and say ‘discriminatory,’ because I think that’s a better word. And I am very discriminatory against words like the ones that they were saying in those names. 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."
Watch the full video below:
Well, That's So Raven viewers will at least remember where she got that misguided idea from...
The incident immediately sparked a social media backlash, with many taking to twitter to condemn her comment.
But it wasn't only online strangers who disagreed with Raven-Symoné; her own dad was not at all impressed either.
Raven's father: "she says some dumb S#%T!"
Christopher B. Pearman was quick to distance himself from the inflammatory statement, seemingly worried that his daughter's slip-up might negatively affect the sales of his new book:
And then came Raven-Symoné's turn to apologize, though she did so in a roundabout way without managing to actually say 'sorry.'
"I have never discriminated against a name....even though I said I would, it's not true."
The problem is, I genuinely believe that Raven-Symoné did not deliberately set out to offend, but rather tried to make a thoughtless, ill-conceived joke.
But at some point she has to realize that her words have the power to perpetuate seriously damaging notions about blackness. The question is: how many more harmful comments will Raven make before The View's producers realize it might not be responsible to give her a platform on TV to voice them?