Raven-Symoné was brought to The View with an eye toward spicing up the conversation on the recently sputtering daytime talk show. Heading into this season, the once-mighty show was seen by some as being in an “epic fight for survival.” And the show, now in its 19th season, has weathered a handful of PR storms in recent weeks. The biggest of those storms, however, is the one triggered by the former Cosby Show star, who got her start on the venerable and now disgraced sitcom at the age of three. Symoné has no doubt-delivered on bringing a bit of spice back to the “Hot Topics” segment. During an episode last week, the co-hosts were discussing the violent arrest of a teenage girl by a school officer in South Carolina, video of which went viral and reignited a national debate about race. Symoné criticized the student, saying, “You’ve got to follow the rules in school.” She later acknowledged the problems surrounding the racial and power dynamics of the situation. But that didn’t stop an online petition from sprouting up, calling for her firing.
“Raven Symoné has been spouting her ignorant and self hating spiel on the view for Long [sic] enough,” the statement accompanying the petition read, criticizing remarks Symoné made on reverse racism and not hiring someone for “having a ghetto name.” The statement continued, “African Americans and black people around the diaspora need a voice representative of their views and not a voice representative of what white people want us to say.” In a matter of days, the petition racked up more than 128,000 signatures. But the criticism hasn’t persuaded ABC to take action against Symoné. In a statement, ABC reportedly said, “We love Raven. She is confident, genuine and opinionated, all qualities that make her a great addition to the panel.”
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