BLACK VOICES

Raven-Symoné Experienced Job Discrimination Ten Years Ago On This Episode Of ‘That’s So Raven’

It turns out Raven Baxter knows more about racism than Raven-Symoné. Cue the irony.

On ABC’s “The View” last week, co-host Raven-Symoné said she would not hire someone with a “black”-sounding name.

Her comment immediately sparked controversy and she later apologized. But it's not the first time the actress has stuck her foot in her mouth. In an interview with Oprah last year, Raven-Symoné claimed to reject labels, identified as a "colorless person" and said she's "American" not "African American." 

Ironically enough, on an episode of Disney’s “That’s So Raven” in 2005, Raven Baxter (played by Raven-Symoné) wasn't hired for a job because she was black.

"I always knew about racism, but I never knew how much it could hurt," Raven-Symoné says at one point on the show. Here's a clip from the episode, titled, "True Colors." 

In the episode, Raven and her best friend Chelsea, who is white, apply for a job at a fancy clothing store at the nearby mall. Raven believes she is qualified for the position because of her background in fashion, but she still doesn’t land the job -- Chelsea does. Raven, who has powers to see into the future, later gets a premonition that proves the hiring manager’s bigoted ways and is baffled by the realization.

“I can’t believe I didn’t get the job because I’m black,” Raven tells her friends.

Raven and her friends set out to expose the employer by going undercover and capturing her racially-insensitive comments on camera.

"The truth is, I don't hire black people," the white hiring manager tells Chelsea, who has a hidden camera strapped to her hat. Their footage makes it to the local news which leads to the employer’s firing and an official apology from the company.

Watch more from the episode here:  

 

While the episode was entirely fictional, it provided some serious lessons on race and discrimination.

And no one could stand to learn from it more than Raven-Symoné herself.

 

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