"The View" co-host Raven-Symoné has apologized for what many considered racially insensitive remarks on her ABC panel-discussion show last week.
"My comments about discrimination have spun out of control," the African-American singer-actress and former child star posted on Facebook Sunday night. "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," a reference to the 2009 YouTube hit "Top 60 Ghetto Black Names," which has actually achieved 186,736 likes and 7,802 dislikes from more than 31 million views.
She added, "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."
On Thursday's episode of "The View," Raven-Symoné, 29, born Raven-Symone Pearman had said "I'm very discriminatory against words like the ones they were saying in those names. I'm not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea," which was No. 12 on a list composed largely of such deliberately absurd names as that and Cellularphoniqua.
Her father, Christopher B. Pearman, posted a rebuke of Raven-Symoné's words on Saturday, calling them an "inexcusable gaffe" while assuring that he and her mother "will always support her and have her back."
In her apology, Raven-Symoné said, "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 affected, 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. . . . But I should not be part of the problem, I should be part of the solution."
She had engendered controversy last year when she decried ethnic labeling, saying, "I'm not an African-American. I'm an American."