Raven-Symoné stunned her co-hosts on The View when she revealed that she has no problem with discriminating against potential hires based on their names. The former The Cosby Show and That’s So Raven star was subsequently slammed on social media for what many perceived as a bizarre sort of hypocrisy.
During a discussion about a study that looked at the biases people attach to names, Raven-Symone came out hard on the side of the discriminators.
According to Vox, the study in question came out of the University of California Los Angeles, and it was meant to examine biases against “black-sounding names” such as Jamal and DeShawn.
The study found that people associated “black-sounding” and Hispanic names with larger, more aggressive people than “white-sounding” names.
Salon reports that during the discussion of the UCLA study, The View aired a short clip of children saying so-called “ghetto black names” such as “Fo’Landra” and “Elephantisha.”
she needs her clock cleaned RT @ashrouen: Pause. Who the hell does Raven think she is??????? pic.twitter.com/WZhTyynjE2
— unpforgettable pfire (@firefire100) October 9, 2015
Raven-Symoné took issue with using the term “racist” in relation to bias against those types of names.
“Can we take back racist and say discriminatory?” she asked, and co-host Whoopi Goldberg agreed.
Then Raven-Symoné took the conversation in a direction nobody expected.
“Because I think that [discriminatory] is a better word. And I am very discriminatory against words like the ones that they were saying in the video. I’m not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea. It’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to hire you.”
Let that be a warning to the Watermelondreas of the world. Raven-Symoné, with her bright red mohawk and somewhat less-than-conventional name, is not about to hire you. Unless you change your name, because that would instantly make you a better employee.
Raven-Symoné’s co-hosts seemed taken aback by the comment. While one attempted to engage her on the strange assertion, Whoopi put her hands on her chest and turned to the audience, as if looking for a lifeline.
If Watermelondrea is out, maybe Whoopi isn’t far behind.
Whoopi sitting there staring like, “So you wouldn’t hire me? Raven-Symoné you’re going to get both of us fired!” pic.twitter.com/jjNF21KKq4
— Proverbs 27:17 (@MarcusJOwens) October 9, 2015
Social media was not kind to Raven-Symoné after she revealed her discriminatory position. Some pointed out the hypocrisy of someone named “Raven-Symoné” refusing to hire a person based on their name, while others focused on her interesting hair cut.
What if their name was Pam Smith and then showed up at work looking like YOU, Raven? (VIDEO) http://t.co/3R3CkNf6bl
— IG: @ItsMikeHill (@ItsMikeHill) October 9, 2015
“look at me. i’m raven symone. black ppl’s names are ugly.” pic.twitter.com/rWQvbPW8eb
— fooler initiative (@metroadlib) October 9, 2015
Lol @ raven symone stating she is against hiring people with “ghetto” names yet… pic.twitter.com/CJUgkSO88C
— Ė (@SteezyEdwund) October 9, 2015
Others pointed out that “black-sounding” names don’t always hold people back. Whoopi and Raven-Symoné herself are evidence of that, but there are other pretty easy examples out there.
— Jonas H (@jonas_brotha) October 9, 2015
This isn’t the first time that Raven-Symoné has created controversy on The View. As previously reported by Inquisitr, the former child star of The Cosby Show drew criticism when she stood up for her old TV dad, and said that she doesn’t want to be referred to as an African-American.
She later defended that remark, claiming to be “from every continent in Africa but one” and “every continent in Europe but one.”
— Law (@_Law1) March 27, 2015
Do you think Raven-Symoné is being attacked over harmless comments here, or do you think there’s a larger issue at stake in regards to name-based discrimination?
[Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images Entertainment]