Comedian Sheryl Underwood is apologizing for her “nappy hair” comments, after saying some very unkind things about black hair on national TV.
Sheryl Underwood‘s nappy hair remarks were made on chat show The Talk, as the women on the panel discussed a report that supermodel Heidi Klum saved clipping from the haircuts of her children with singer Seal.
Underwood ragged on the biracial kids’ hair, telling host Sara Gilbert that white people keeping kids’ shorn strands is a totally different ball game.
Sheryl first took a potshot at Klum, saying:
“I’m sorry but why would you save afro hair? You can’t weave in afro hair. You ain’t never seen us at the hair place going, ‘Look here, what I need is the curly, nappy beads.’ That just seems nasty.”
Gilbert cut in on the subject of saving kids’ hair, addressing the issue as sentimental and replying:
“I totally get this. I don’t know if I’m weird but I have my son’s first haircut… ”
Underwood cut across her, and in the process, mocked black hair. She retorted to Sara:
“Which is probably some beautiful long silky stuff. That’s not what an afro is.”
The ep originally aired in June, but for some reason, Sheryl Underwood’s stinging criticism (on a sensitive subject for many black folk) didn’t rub people the wrong way until it re-aired Friday.
Fans took to Facebook to complain, and Underwood discussed the nappy hair debate with black hair blogger Curly Nikki this week. In a longer exchange, Sheryl admitted she made a mistake and is sorry, saying:
“That was a bad choice of words. A bad juxtaposition of words to imply that our hair is not good. I made a mistake. I will own up to that mistake. I’m going to talk to God and change the way I articulate things and be more cognizant. I’m not perfect and I bet if you put a camera on someone all day, they’d eventually say something they’d regret too. I am asking you to forgive me for the statement I made.”
“I’m not what you think I am. I don’t have self-hate. I am not ashamed of my Blackness or who I am. In high school I had a giant afro. In college I was militant. I loved my afro puff. My dad instilled Black pride in me. I have no hair shame whatsoever.”
Fans are still miffed though, and one Facebook commenter suggests the damage done to the self-esteem of black girls in particular may already have stuck:
“I wonder if Sheryl’s apology will be understood by the millions of young Black beautiful girls that hate their hair, which in turn makes them think that they are ugly. That’s what’s sad in all of this. I work continuously to build up the self esteem of Beautiful Black girls, and these types of messages destroy the work.”
While Sheryl Underwood did take the time to explain herself, it’s also pretty understandable that fans are perplexed as to how she managed to so casually insult millions of black women in the first place.