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Raven-Symoné Defends Saying She’s ‘American Not An African American’

Actress and Disney Channel star Raven-Symoné has finally addressed the Oprah Winfrey interview that brought her so much backlash in 2014—when she told the then-host, “I’m an American, I’m not an African American.”

Raven’s mother seems to think Oprah Winfrey had a hand in the Disney star being canceled years ago.

The actress spoke about previously being criticized by the world for rejecting the label of African American, expressing that she felt many misunderstood her perspective.

Raven-Symoné reflected on the topic while speaking to her wife Miranda Pearman-Maday on their podcast Raven & Miranda. The celebrity stated that she wanted to share her refreshed thoughts about the situation as it was recently brought up on Bill Maher‘s talk show. The TV personality was reporting on actor Idris Elba criticizing the world for being hung up on race, and claiming to no longer refer to himself as a Black actor.

Maher compared Elba’s remarks to similar comments Raven made during a 2014 interview with Oprah Winfrey. If you recall, the TV and movie star vehemently told Oprah Winfrey that she didn’t want to be referred to as a lesbian or an African American but just as an American. The media mogul surmised that Raven’s comments would “set Twitter on fire,” which turned out to be true.

Thinking back on the outpour of criticism she faced at the time, which ultimately prompted her to issue an apology in a subsequent interview, Raven stated:

“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, didn’t hear the exact words that I said, and the exact words that I said is that I’m an American not an African American.”

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