“I Never Said I Wasn’t Black” Raven Symone Addresses Her Controversial Statements On Race

October 11, 2018  |  

BuzzFeed AM to DM

Ever since her tenure on “The View,” ended, Raven Symone has gone back to doing what she does best: acting. She’s the star of the Disney reboot “Raven’s Home,” where she also serves as an executive producer. In a recent sit down with BuzzFeed’s “AM to DM,” Symone talked about more representation for the LGBTQ in television and film, advice to her young co-stars. She also addressed some of the controversial comments about race and identity that had us scratching our heads. See what she had to say in the excerpt below.

Increased representation for LGBTQ community in media

“I think things have changed for the better. I think there’s still progress to be made. I think there are amazing ways to get content through…We just have to continue to make positive images of the LGBTQ community so that we are continuously thread within society. That’s why I love Disney Channel because yes, we are for children, but we are also recognizing what’s going on with the generation at this time. There are many other topics that get talked about on Disney Channel in a positive, safe way and it makes me happy.”

Advice for her younger co-stars

I try my best to…there’s only so much because times have changed. Your net worth can go up because of a million followers, not because you actually get the money. I tell them, ‘It’s important to say no, it’s important to know who you are, it’s important to understand that a career goes like this [makes roller coaster motion] and it’s important to take control of your self-worth and understand what you’re worth, so that when you go into these meetings with companies and marketing people, you know what you’re worth.

Does she still stand by not identifying with the term African-American?

It’s funny because I don’t know if people listened to the interview. I didn’t say I wasn’t black. I’m Black. My passport says American. I never said I wasn’t Black. Trust me, I know I’m Black. There’s just a difference. There are many African-Americans, especially in 2018, that come over from Africa and come here and need the green card. You’re first generation African American. That’s how I look at that title. There are a lot of Black Americans here who have been here longer than the Americans that are a different color. Why can’t we have just one name, I’m confused.

The controversial comments she made on “The View” and whether she’d take them back.

“What I learned from The View is everybody has a different way of thinking. Everybody has an opinion. My mama said, ‘It’s like bootyholes. Everybody’s got one.’ So here’s the deal, things that I said, they call me the living room conservation girl. I probably should have worded it differently. But I have to say this — I learned what I’m good at and I learned what I’m not good at. And the things that I said, I’m personally not going to rehash because I learned my lesson. I moved forward. And when I get asked a question on a sensitive matter, I try not to go right to racism. I try not to go to the pain and suffering. I’m trying to live in my now and that can be difficult and I didn’t take that into consideration all the time. Because I’m so used to living in the ‘how am I going to change the now?’ It was a challenging moment in my career and I learned a lot—what not to do and what not to say. And that’s what I have to say about that.

 

You can watch Raven’s full interview in the video below. 

 

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