The most sensible thing Raven-Symoné has ever said on The View is arguably the announcement that she would be leaving the show and returning to acting.
The announcement itself is not surprising. Raven-Symoné had already been relegated to appearing only once a week, but on Thursday, she revealed her absence was rooted in a reboot of her hit Disney series, That’s So Raven. As both lead actress and executive producer, she’s too busy. So bye-bye-bye to The View.
If I were her publicist, I would be doing every single dance I’ve ever seen on Vine (R.I.P.) in celebration. Free from this show and focused on acting, Raven-Symoné’s likability can be salvaged. As of now, her work on the talk show has been the equivalent of Donald Trump’s presidential bid soiling his brand.
When Raven-Symoné played Olivia on The Cosby Show, I found her adorable – even if she kind of made Rudy Huxtable obsolete. As one of The Cheetah Girls and the star of That’s So Raven, she provided my oldest niece endless joy. However, the more she teetered off script as a panelist on The View, the greater urgency I had for a real racial draft.
Like the time she defended Elisabeth Hasselbeck for asking a loaded question about Sandra Bland: “I do not judge every single white person in the history of America for something that they did 17 million years ago.”
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Or the time she said this about Rachel Dolezal, aka Fake Ass Freddie Brooks: “It’s the same thing dealing with transgender, [Rachel Dolezal] said she’s felt like she’s Black since she was 5 years old, we’ve had to have these conversations with transgender, and other identity social unbalances in the brain.”
There’s also the following declaration: “I’m not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea.” Raven-Symoné ultimately apologized for this stance on “ghetto names,” which had her lending her Black face to the issue of job discrimination. Yes, with a name like Raven-Symoné.
Unfortunately, just a few weeks later, she spoke about a Black teenage girl who was a victim of police brutality in a South Carolina classroom: “The girl was told multiple times to get off the phone. There’s no right, or reason, for him to be doing this type of harm, that’s ridiculous, but at the same time, you gotta follow the rules in school.”
She also wasn’t sold on Harriet Tubman being on the $20 dollar bill: “I don’t like [the idea of having Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill]. I think we need to move a little bit more forward.” To her credit, Raven-Symoné did name Rosa Parks one of the alternatives, but I imagine the ancestors remain displeased.
Raven-Symoné also made the mistake of co-signing Mike Huckabee’s criticisms of Beyoncé, quipping, “I just need somebody to put some pants on when people are performing nowadays.”
And who can forget when she spoke on behalf of Univision host Rodner Figueroa, who was fired after comparing First Lady Michelle Obama to a character from Planet of the Apes. “Don’t fire me from this right now, but some people do look like animals,” she argued on the show.
Raven-Symoné was never fired, but she was alienating Black people with her antagonistic comments (about Black women in particular), and while we are a forgiving people, there’s only so much we can all take. My fear for Raven-Symoné was that after her run ended, she would find herself a social pariah.
Whoopi Goldberg has made some peculiar comments on The View, but we’ve already seen the comedy specials, The Color Purple, and Sister Act. Her legacy is cemented. We still boo and hiss, but her legendary career leads itself to bookings outside the show.
Raven-Symoné has been teetering more towards Stacey Dash territory. Bless her heart, but thanks to the nonsense she spews on Fox News, Dash probably can’t even get Black folks’ interest in one of those Redbox urban cinema flicks. Needless to say, Raven-Symoné going back to her day job is the best thing for her. For her sake, I hope she never does a daytime talk show again, watches what she says on social media, and most of all, reads some books. Keep your views to yourself for a good while, beloved.
It’s best that way.