Raven-Symoné Clarifies ‘African American’ Comments from 2014 Interview

Raven-Symoné is offering up some clarification, claiming that her prior comments about not being African American were taken out of context. 

On Tuesday, the Cosby Show alum, 38, released a new episode of the Tea Time With Raven and Miranda podcast with her spouse, Miranda Maday.

In the episode titled “we need to talk…,” the actress addressed a 2014 interview with Oprah Winfrey where she “felt like the entire internet exploded and threw my name in the garbage.” 

Raven-Symoné explained that she chose to rehash the topic because it started to recirculate after a Real Time With Bill Maher segment mentioned Idris Elba previously saying that people “are obsessed with race.”

The television host used a quote from her interview with Winfrey, 70, immediately after. 

Looking directly into the camera, the Disney channel star confessed that the decade-old issue “has haunted me since 2014.”

“He is commenting on something I said to Oprah back in 2014,” she said before a clip of the infamous interview was inserted into Tuesday’s episode.

Raven-Symoné and Oprah Winfrey, 2014 interview.

OWN


“So you don’t want to be labeled gay?” Winfrey asked at the time.

Shaking her head, Raven-Symoné sternly replied, “I don’t want to be labeled gay.”

She continued, “I want to be labeled a human who loves humans. I’m tired of being labeled — I’m an American, I’m not an African American. I’m an American.”

“Oh girl, don’t set off Twitter,” the media mogul replied, seemingly taken aback by her guest’s response. 

Once the clip ended, it switched back to the Tea Time podcast. 

Raven-Symoné, March 2023.

Monica Schipper/Getty


“Now, when that aired, I felt like the entire internet exploded and threw my name in the garbage. There was so much backlash from my community and others that misunderstood slash didn’t hear the exact words that I said,” Raven-Symoné explained.

“And the exact words that I said is that, ‘I’m an American, not an African American.’”

According to the Cheetah Girls actress, “A lot of people thought I said that I wasn’t Black. And I never said that.”

Maday asked her wife what she meant by the remark.

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“When I say that African American does not align with me — that label – It doesn’t mean that I’m negating my Blackness or I’m not Black,” Raven-Symoné said. “It means I am from this country. I was born here. My mom, my dad, my great-great-great-great-great — that’s what I’m saying. The pure logistics of it.”

She added that she understands her history and where her ancestors come from. 

“I also understand how much blood, sweat, and tears they soaked into this earth in order to create the America that I live in today — free, happy, tax-paying American citizen,” Raven-Symoné added.

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