Former Disney star Raven-Symoné has once again sparked controversy in social media circles after claiming she would not hire anyone with a name that sounded “black.”
Symoné, who is African American, made the comment this week during a segment called “Are You Judged By Your Name?” which aired on “The View”, which she co-hosts. The conversation was inspired by a viral YouTube video that parodies stereotypical names for people of color.
The actress argued it’s not racist to treat people differently based on their names, saying “discriminatory” is a “better word” for it.
“I’m very discriminatory against the words like the ones they were saying in those names,” Symoné added. “I’m not going to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea. That’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to hire you.”
Her statement received widespread condemnation on social media, with some users suggesting Symoné is a hypocrite since her own name is “ethnic”:
The polarizing “View” co-host, who has been at the center of several recent social media firestorms.
She was criticized earlier this year when she defended former Univision anchor Rodner Figueroa for a racially charged joke he made at Michelle Obama’s expense. Figueroa suggested that the first lady looks like she was in “the cast of ‘Planet of the Apes’.”
“I don’t think he was saying it racist,” said Symoné in Figueroa’s defense. “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 … so can I be mad at somebody that calls me Toucan Sam?”
The former “Cosby Show” star was also ridiculed for telling talk show host Oprah Winfrey during a sit-down interview last year, that she rejected cultural labels like “gay” or “African American.” Amid the backlash, Symone issued a response: “I never said I wasn’t black.”