‘The View’ embraces controversy with Raven Symone hire
ABC talkshow "The View" has been missing its youthful exuberance since Elisabeth Hasselbeck departed, and now executives are looking to shore up losses after a revamped panel flopped this fall. Reintroducing Rosie O'Donnell didn't work, and new co-hosts Rosie Perez and Nicole Wallace also have garnered mixed reviews.
Media critics are embracing the selection of former child actress Raven Symone, who has attracted controversy during the few months she served as a guest co-host. Symone, 29, falls squarely in the millennial generation and hasn't been afraid to speak her mind. She turned heads in 2014 in an interview with Oprah Winfrey for her remarks on her sexuality and race. “I don’t want to be labeled ‘gay.’ I want to be labeled ‘a human who loves humans,'” she said. “I’m tired of being labeled — I’m an American. I’m not an African American. I’m an American.” Liberals loved her progressiveness, and conservatives even rallied behind the remarks.
Her months on "The View" haven't been without controversy, such as when she asserted Harriet Tubman wasn't current enough to be on the $20 bill. But she's relatable to a younger audience, who know her from "That's So Raven" and Cheetah Girls. She's also appeared this year on popular shows "Empire" and "Blackish."
And much like Hasselbeck, Symone is not afraid to defend a position that's unpopular — or even a bit zany. That's why she fits so well into the current television culture. Her remarks often attract Twitter flames. That, in turn, brings attention to the talkshow and gives her a bigger microphone.