"I'd like to begin by saying that I was not attacking a specific race, but repeating a name that was said in a viral video which has received over 2 million likes," she wrote. "As an equal opportunity employer, I have never discriminated against a name....even though I said I would, it's not true. My comment was in poor taste. My lack of empathy towards name discrimination was uncalled for."
During Thursday's episode of The View, the panelists discussed a recent study that showed Americans are more likely to discriminate against people with black-sounding names. After playing a YouTube video called "Top 60 Ghetto Names," Raven-Symoné said, "I am very discriminatory against [names] like the ones that they were saying in the [video]. I'm not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea. It's just not going to happen. I'm not going to hire you."
The former child star received immediate backlash from viewers for the insensitive remarks. Her own father, Christopher B. Pearman, wrote an open letter Friday about his daughter's "inexcusable gaffe."
"Children grow up and become influenced by many things, situations and people. I certainly don't agree with what she said....but she is damn near thirty years old. She's a grown ass woman making grown ass mistakes. We all have been guilty of this," Pearman wrote on Facebook. "Her Mother and I Love her Very much and will always support her and have her back. Even if sometimes..........she says some dumb S#%T!"
In her own message, Raven-Symoné says she should've been more sympathetic since she has been a victim of discrimination herself.
"I have been denied many jobs because of my skin color, body size, and age. Each time I was rejected, my self-esteem was negatively effected [sic], so I empathize with those who feel victimized by what I said," she wrote. "We would hope that when it comes to hiring, our names, physical appearance, sexual orientation, and age would never outweigh our qualifications, but often times, they do, thats [sic] the truth and it sucks. But I should not be part of the problem, I should be part of the solution."