Raven-Symoné Weighs In on Empire's N-Word Debate, Talks Michelle Obama ''Animal'' Comment & More—Watch Now!

Plus, what does the actress have to say about her "I'm not African American" remark? Find out below

By Bruna Nessif Mar 19, 2015 10:53 PMTags
Watch: Raven-Symone Discusses Using the N-Word

Raven-Symoné has a lot to talk about, so listen up.

E! News caught up with the actress at Oceana restaurant in New York City to chat about everything going on in her life, including her new roles on Black-ish and Empire, her recently buzzed-about comment concerning Michelle Obama and her now-infamous "I'm not an African American, I'm an American" remark.

So let's get started, shall we? E! News' Alicia Quarles wanted to get Raven's stance on the recent debate between Empire co-stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, who each feel differently about using the N-word on the popular series. Howard has expressed that he wants to do it because it's used in conversation, while Taraji doesn't think it's necessary.

What does Raven think? "It's hard, because people use it in their everyday language behind the scenes all day, and some shows will air it and some shows won't," she tells us. "And there's a lot of pain connected to it, but then there's a lot of brotherly love connected to it, and I feel like you shouldn't say a word you wouldn't let anybody else use."


Raven has never been one to shy away from speaking her mind, however recent remarks she made on The View (where she argued that Univision host Rodner Figueroa's comments about FLOTUS looking like "part of the cast of Planet of the Apes" weren't stemming from a racial standpoint) caused a stir, and she tries to further explain what she meant.

"I don't think I was defending," the actress clarifies. "I think he got fired for a reason. It was very distasteful what he said, it was very distasteful. And I don't believe she looks like one at all. I don't believe she should've been casted, but I do know that a lot of people I know have animal traits."

(For example: Raven thinks Alicia Quarles looks like Bambi.)

"I think any time something is dealing with race, that is still an open wound and you try to look at it from a different standpoint, people are gonna get mad," she continues. "Especially when it's socially out, blasted, and people don't read the whole story. Just like a lot of my comments. People don't read into the whole story and start making things and they say, I said this and I said this and I'm trying to be a different race, but I'm not trying to be."

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

And so we get to the "I'm not African American" comment.

"I never said I wasn't black," Raven reiterates. "I said I wasn't African American and to me, that's a difference," she explains and mentions that she recently found out, thanks to a DNA test from Ancestry.com, that she's actually from almost every country in Africa and Europe.

"We are a melting pot of beauty. We have to embrace the different cultures we have. And if you don't, we're still gonna have these problems that are blasting up everywhere. And call me hippie, call me a free-thinker, call me someone that's looking for a better life, but I wanna be in a better world."

But that's not all! Check out more of our interview with Raven-Symoné down below.

Watch: Raven-Symone Talks 'Coming Out' on Social Media