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During an appearance on The View, Raven-Symoné jumped to the defense of Venezuelan journalist Rodner Figueroa who was fired last week after he compared First Lady Michelle Obama to the cast of Planet Of The Apes on Univision’s El Gordo y La Flaca.

“Well did he say it racist like?,” she asked. “Because he said he voted for her later [in his letter] and I believe he wasn’t saying it in a racist way. I don’t think he said it in a racist way!”

After being fired, Figueroa wrote an apology letter to Mrs. Obama (whose office sent a complaint letter to Univision about his comments) and even mentioned he was of Afro-Venezuelan descent. Although, his sorrowful apology did not resonate with most, Raven-Symoné said Figueroa should’ve been allowed to keep his job because “some people look like animals.”

Afterward, Rosie Perez shut the conversation all the way down by noting:

“I am the Latin person here on this table and I would like to tell you that it was racist. Period. And the thing is this is a problem in our Latin community that we do not talk about—that we do not address. It is real, and it was revealed by this man’s statement. And you do not disrespect the First Lady of our country.”

After Rosie’s applaud-worthy comment, Raven countered, “Michelle don’t fire me for this right now, but some people look like animals. I look like a bird, so can I be mad if someone calls me Tucan Sam?!”

As of late, Raven-Symoné has made a number of controversial statements about race and blackness. In an interview with Oprah last year, Raven told the media maven she is American and not African-American and tired of labels. Though labels can be limiting and exhausting,  it is troubling to see Raven constantly deny her race and culture publicly when in fact her acting career was built around Black representation in television (i.e. The Cosby Show, Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, That’s So Raven and The Cheetah Girls). Her comments make the Western Black experience look small and irrelevant. Twitter users reacted to her recent statements with a vengeance:
https://twitter.com/ugglyyy/status/577909541477683200

https://twitter.com/YeshaCallahan/status/577863575437488128

Below is footage of her View appearance. What do you think about Raven’s comments?

via For Harriet

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