Arts & Entertainment

Raven-Symoné baffles viewers

Raven-Symoné raises eyebrows in response to questions about her racial and sexual identity.

By: Allison Wisyanski ~Staff Writer~

Raven-Symoné, former star of “The Cosby Show” and “That’s So Raven,” appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s premiere titled “Where Are They Now?” on Oct. 5.

During the interview, Raven- Symoné sparked controversy through a statement regarding her race and created a new subject for the social media scene to attack. The interview started with a discussion about the tweet that she sent last year stating, “I can finally get married! Yay government! So proud of you.”

After reading this tweet, Oprah asked whether she wants to be labeled gay or not and she responded, “I don’t want to be labeled gay. I want to be labeled a human who loves humans. I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American. I’m an American.”

Some viewers were not pleased with the latter part of this statement, many of them taking to social media and news sites. “I get it. Raven-Symoné doesn’t like labels. But she is wrong to run
away from her blackness, seemingly hoping that no one acknowledges her beautiful brown skin
and the history written all over her face,” Roxanne Jones, editor of ESPN The Magazine, said.

Twitter also blew up with angry tweets toward her statement. “Funny thing about Raven- Symoné and folks like her is how they make their money from the patronage of black people then drop us in public,” one woman stated. Other statements included, “I don’t support those who want to dissociate themselves from Blackness for advancement,” and,“I understand Raven-Symoné’s ultimate goal to break away from labels…but completely disowning your own race was a bit drastic.”

Raven picture - imdb

Raven-Symoné suffered some backlash after her controversial interview

The tweets critiquing Raven- Symoné go on, but not all of Twitter felt the same way. Some positive tweets surrounding the situation stated that the interview was “So real and true,” and that, “The slander towards Raven-Symoné is ridiculous.

People get so uncomfortable when someone views the world differently than them.” “Good for you. Let’s stop dividing ourselves and let’s start being intellectually curious and accepting the fact that our people are going to go in a different direction. And stop trying to win and start trying to understand each other. Who wants to be defined by their sexuality? Who wants to
be defined by their color?” Glenn Beck said on his TV show, “The Glenn Beck Program.”

Beck understands Raven- Symoné’s statement, despite the varying comments. “I never said I wasn’t black. I want to make that very clear. I said, ‘I am not African American.’ I never expected my personal beliefs and comments to spark such emotion in people. I think it is only positive when we can openly discuss race and being labeled in America,” Raven-Symoné said to
E! News in response to her critics. She claimes she didn’t want to raise controversy through the statement, but rather was trying to erase labels applied to her own identity.