The Empire actress sat in as a guest host for The View on Monday, and in an attempt to play devil’s advocate during the discussion surrounding Univision host Rodner Figueroa’s firing for comparing the First Lady to an ape, the 29-year-old threw out a joke that seemed to defend Figueroa’s actions.
Huffington Post reports:
The “That’s So Raven” star quickly interjected Rosie Perez by saying, “Some people look like animals. I look like a bird. So can I be mad if somebody calls me a Toucan Sam?”
Perez, the only woman of Latin decent on the panel, explained that Figueroa’s comments were racist and lie deeper than the fashion personality telling a joke.
During a segment on El Gordo Y La Flaca last week, the 42-year-old criticized the makeup of actor Paolo Ballesteros. In a side-by-side photo of Ballesteros and Michelle Obama, Figueroa said, “Mind you, you know that Michelle Obama looks like she’s part of the cast of “Planet of the Apes,” the film.”
“There is a secret in the Latin community, specifically the Caribbean, South American, Central American Latin community. They are very racist,” Perez said. “They never want to be in the same group as black people. And it’s very, very sad. And he did say Michelle Obama looked like a cast member of the ‘Planet of the Apes.’”
Perez was far from done when she broke down the racist tendencies of some people from the Latin community.
“I am the Latin person here on this table and I would like to tell you that it was racist, period,” she declared. “And the thing is this is a problem in the Latin community that we do not talk about. That we do not address. And it is real and it was revealed by this man’s statement. And you do not disrespect the first lady of our country.”
While Perez spoke candidly about the issue, Raven’s comments garnered the most side-eyes. She took to Twitter to admit that her comment may have been rude, but far from racist.
Some comments are rude, some are disrespectful, and some are racist. Try to not exchange one for the other.
— Raven-Symonè (@MissRavenSymone) March 18, 2015
Figueroa has since apologized for his comment. He also penned a lengthy letter denying he is racist since his father is black and has voted twice for President Barack Obama.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | VIDEO CREDIT: News Inc.