LOS ANGELES – Raven-Symone, the former Disney Channel star turned daytime talk show co-host, has enraged viewers and nonviewers of ABC’s “The View” with some of her opinions, and the backlash is growing.
Thousands signed a petition on Change.org addressed to “View” creator and executive producer Barbara Walters to fire Symone.
As of Sunday, the petition had more than 125,000 signatures.
But ABC is not buckling to the pressure, and the network is standing behind the co-host. Symone is “a great addition” to the show, a network spokesperson told CNN.
Symone has gotten a lot of heat for controversial comments she has made so far this season. Recently, the co-host faced backlash on social media after saying she would not hire a person who had a “ghetto” name.
“I’m not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea. It’s just not going to happen,” she said on the show.
Symone also got into a debate with co-host Candace Cameron Bure over religious liberty, when they argued over a bakery’s refusal to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding. She also made divisive remarks about the arrest of a teenager in a South Carolina classroom where a police officer aggressively removed the student from her desk.
The petition letter reads, “Raven Symone has been spouting her ignorant and self hating spiel on the view for Long enough, from stating that she wouldn’t hire somebody for having a ghetto name, to openly complaining about reverse racism, the final straw was her comment about the recent viral video of the school police officer assaulting the student, where Raven Symone said “get off your phone in school then”. 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. We need strong black rolemodels in prominent positions on television an Raven Symone cannot provide that. That is why I ask that we petition to remove her from The View.”
The network went on to say in a statement sent to CNN, “We love Raven. She is confident, genuine and opinionated, all qualities that make her a great addition to the panel.”
Raven-Symone joined “The View” for its 19th season this year, along with co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Paula Faris, Michelle Collins and Candace Cameron Bure.