Raven-Symone Defends Univison Anchor Fired For Comparing Michelle Obama To An Ape
Raven-Symone took a controversial stance during her guest-hosting gig on The View, defending embattled Univision anchor Rodner Figueroa.
Raven-Symone Defends Univision Anchor
Last week, Figueroa was hosting Univision gossip show El Gordo y La Flaca when the topic of a makeup artist making up his own face to resemble that of First Lady Michelle Obama came up. Figueroa quipped, “Well, watch out: You know that Michelle Obama looks like she’s from the cast of Planet of the Apes, the movie.”
Univision immediately terminated Figueroa after the regrettable gaffe. In an open letter to the FLOTUS following his firing, Figueroa said, “I want to clarify that I’m not racist and in no way was my comment directed at you, but rather the work of the [make up] artist, which left much to be desired. […] I ask for forgiveness, because there is no excuse for a professional like me to make those types of comments that can be interpreted as offensive and racist in a volatile moment that we live in our country.”
Weighing in of Figueroa’s joke and the resulting loss of his job, Symone said she thinks that there was an overreaction.
“I don’t think he was saying it racist,” Symone told the fellow panelists. “Not Michelle Obama. Michelle, don’t fire me from this right now, but some people do look like animals.”
“Is that rude? I look like a bird,” she added. “So can I be mad at somebody that calls me Toucan Sam?”
Actress Rosie Perez was not impressed with Symone’s argument, countering, “That’s like saying, ‘I’m not a racist, but I have black friends.”
Symone also made headlines for controversial comments last year after a sit-down with Oprah Winfrey. During the interview, Symone explained that she chooses not to cling to cultural labels like “gay” or “African-American” to define herself, preferring to be seen as just a person.