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Raven-Symone calls name-discrimination comments 'poor taste'

The actress and show co-host came under fire after indicating she might not hire someone named "Watermelondrea."
/ Source: TODAY

Social media backlash has led Raven-Symoné to clarify and dial back statements she made on "The View" last week.

Actress Raven-Symoné.Getty Images file

"My comment was in poor taste. My lack of empathy towards name discrimination was uncalled for," wrote the 29-year-old, who first gained fame on "The Cosby Show."

The gaffe occurred while the hosts were discussing a new study released in "The Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior," which chronicled racial bias against people with unusual names.

"Just to bring it back, can we take back ‘racist' and say ‘discriminatory,' because I think that's a better word," she said during Thursday's show. "And I am very discriminatory against words 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."

Backlash came swift and sure across the Internet with comments like:

Even Raven-Symoné's father Christopher B. Pearman has spoken up, though kindly, about his daughter's remarks:

"I did my best as her father, mentor and career manager. I believe I did a Wonderful job. Aside from this inexcusable gaffe, her 29 years in the entertainment industry has been quite successful, for there have been only an Elite Few Child Stars to last this long and have little to no controversy. For this, I am Very Proud!" he noted.

And now, the actress herself is walking back those comments, saying on Facebook that the reaction has "spun out of control."

"As an equal opportunity employer, I have never discriminated against a name ... even though I said I would, it's not true," she said.

Comments attached to her new post have been mixed, but included some supporters: "She kept it real," wrote Kimberly Rednour. "Cuz in the real world nobody's gonna hire laquandra. It may not be nice but it's true. It's a proven fact that your name can in fact hinder you from being hired. People need not be more conscious of how they name their kids."

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