Raven-Symone to Oprah: ‘I’m an American. That’s what I really mean.’
Raven-Symone is an American, period, and let the labels stop there.
While the 28-year-old actress did just tell Oprah Winfrey that she’s in a relationship with a woman -- that after seeming to come out in August 2013 -- she also balked at being labeled “gay.”
“I want to be labeled a human who loves humans. I’m tired of being labeled,” she said on the episode of “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” that aired Saturday night. “I’m an American.”
Then she raised the stakes -- at least perhaps in Winfrey’s mind, judging by the host’s surprised reaction. “I’m not an African American,” the “That’s So Raven” star declared. “I’m an American.”
“Oh, girl, don’t set up the Twitter on fire,” Winfrey replied in a light tone, shaking her head just a bit. “What? Oh Lord. What did you just say? Stop, stop, stop the tape right now.”
After predicting some backlash over that statement, Winfrey prompted her guest to clarify what she’d “really” meant.
“What I really mean by that is, I’m an American,” said the former “Cosby Show” actress. “That’s what I really mean.”
“I have darker skin,” she continued. “I have a nice interesting grade of hair. I connect with Caucasian, I connect with Asian, I connect with black, I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture.”
While she didn’t know her country of origin in Africa, Raven-Symone said, she knows her roots are in Louisiana, which makes her an American.
“I’m American, and that’s a colorless person,” she said.
Now, the actress did sort of label herself a "#unicorn” in a tweet that went up before the show aired Saturday night. Mythical creature and all.
“Thank you to all the people that watched last night!” she said on Facebook. “It was a great experience to talk to one of the most powerful people of America, better yet the world. (at least I said more than yes to her this time) @Oprah was everything you hoped her to be, like an auntie! Lol well, I poked my head up from the college grind long enough, back to work! Focus....”
The “more than yes” comment referred to her November 1989 appearance -- with Bill Cosby himself and “Cosby Show” costar Keshia Knight Pulliam -- on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” at the tender age of 3½.
After the young actress quickly delivered seven “yes” answers in response to Winfrey’s questions, Cosby stepped in with encouragement that the girl open up and say something else. Apparently it worked, because by the end of the episode, Raven-Symone had revealed a big secret:
Raven-Symone was the proud owner and driver of a red Corvette. Motorized, even. And that’s what she drove to work.