Sheryl Underwood wants to make things right.
The Talk host took the opportunity this week to apologize for a statement she made a few years ago that struck down kinky hair and resulted in some major backlash.
In September 2013, the comedian made a bad joke that she didn't understand why Heidi Klum saved her biracial children's hair. "Why would you save Afro hair? You can't weave in Afro hair!" Underwood joked, resulting in harsh criticism—including people calling her an "Uncle Tom" and a "coon."
"I was [called] all kinds of different things," she explained. "[But] I can understand that kind of language being used because people were hurt. I made a big mistake."
The whole experience actually compelled her to take a year to reevaluate herself and her views. "I cut my hair off. I cut the perm out," she revealed to the audience. "I still wear wigs because I like variety, but what I really wanted to do was engage women."
"I think that if you hide behind something then you are a coward," she continued. "And I wanted to show that I was strong enough to take the truth about what people were saying."
Thus, Underwood decided to reveal her own, natural hair while hosting The Talk and apologize for her poor use of humor.
"I made some statements that were not only wrong, they hurt our community" she says. "In my comments and trying to explain, [which] was juxtaposed against statements that were very, very hurtful—and to come out of the mouth of a very proud black woman—I was wrong, and I wanted to take the time to apologize, especially in the forum that this discussion occurred."
She decided to write a letter to help her better focus her apology, which Julie Chen read aloud.
"I want to apologize for my recent attempt at humor that missed the target and hit my people squarely in the heart," Chen read the note to the audience. "To all of you, I say I'm very sorry for my failed attempt at humor surrounding something that is very sensitive to us: our hair."
Underwood added, "There is a responsibility to being on TV. There's a cultural responsibility. The way we got images out there—there's no need for me to do something that causes more damage to us."
Therefore, she concludes, "In this network and in this chair, I wanted to say that I am so sorry to my community and my people for hurting you and I'm asking you for forgiveness and I will work hard to make it better."
And to prove it, she adds, "I'm gonna wear my hair like this for the rest of the show!"
Watch her full statement in the video above.