Raven-Symoné said Sunday she has "never discriminated against a name," after facing accusations of being “racist” following her controversial comments about “ghetto” names. The 29-year-old “The View” co-host addressed the backlash just hours after her father came to her defense.
"I'd like to begin by saying that I was not attacking a specific race, but repeating a name that was said in a viral video which has received over 2 million likes," she wrote to her 4.8 million followers on Facebook Sunday.
"I have been denied many jobs because of my skin color, body size, and age. Each time I was rejected, my self esteem was negatively effected, so i empathize with those who feel victimized by what I said. We would hope that when it comes to hiring, our names, physical appearance, sexual orientation, and age would never outweigh our qualifications, but often times, they do, thats the truth and it sucks. But I should not be part of the problem, I should be part of the solution," the former Disney star added.
Raven-Symoné was slammed for saying on Friday's "The View" that she wouldn't hire someone with a "ghetto" name. Her comments came after Whoopi Goldberg mentioned a new study that found people judged others based on their names. Goldberg then introduced a video clip that showed two boys reciting the "most ghetto" names like "King’Kong’Quisha" and "Colla’Greeniqua."
After saying it wasn't racist to judge people based on their names, Raven-Symoné told her co-hosts: "I’m very discriminatory against the words like the ones they were saying in those names. I’m not going to hire you if your name is Watermelon-Andrea. It’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to hire you.”
Meanwhile, the real Watermelondrea Jones responded with a seven-minute video challenging "The View" co-host's comments. The video quickly received over 300,000 views and likely prompted Raven-Symoné to respond.
Clarifying her comments Sunday on Facebook, Raven-Symoné said: "As an equal opportunity employer, I have never discriminated against a name....even though I said I would, it's not true. My comment was in poor taste. My lack of empathy towards name discrimination was uncalled for. I would also like to say that on Friday my account was hacked, those are not my words."
On Sunday, Raven-Symoné’s father, Christopher B. Pearman, said her comments on "The View" were an "inexcusable gaffe," but he was "proud" of everything she had accomplished throughout her career.
"Raven is a really beautiful, sweet-hearted human being. I should know," Pearman posted on Facebook. "Her mother and I love her very much and will always support her and have her back. Even if sometimes..........she says some dumb s---!”
Following the backlash, rumors surfaced that Raven-Symoné's future on the ABC daytime talk show was in jeopardy. According to the blog Media Take Out, producers told her she was going to be replaced on the show because of her controversial comments. However, acccording to Gossip Cop, reports of her being fired were “absolutely not true.”