If you have been following the TV career of “HuffPost Live” host Karamo Brown in the past few years like I have, you know that the Houston native speaks very passionately about his point of view on any social topic.
I recently interviewed Brown, which seemed more like a very engaging conversation of friends catching up, about his thoughts over some of America’s most well-known LGBT personalities who have been in hot water over their professed beliefs and perceived superiority over the LGBTQ community and people of color.
Hearing Brown express his opinions on the Black American backlash against veteran actress and “The View” TV hostess Raven-Symone, especially from LGBTQ people, gave me some relief in hearing a response that suggests the community resistance against Symone is a bit harsh considering her true platform as a celebrity.
I had to ask the “Real World” reality-TV star-turned-cable news contributor and cable TV host, “Is the Black American backlash, in particular from the Black LGBT community, against Raven and her controversial soundbites on cultural fair?”
“First of all, people need to stop making and judging Raven like she is the spokesperson for Black people or Black LGBT people. Raven has not claimed to be a lesbian. She has never self-identified as one. She does not want to be put into this position of leadership. Yet, we put this pressure on someone that has said ‘I don’t want to be any of this.'”
Secondly, we have to remember that she is part of a television show. She has producers who are producing her. People have to understand each of the women on “The View” is playing a role, representing a type of person, and that’s why each of them are hired to be on that show. Producers expect them to play that role.
Lastly, I would say that Raven is a classic example of someone who has been hurt, who doesn’t know how to clearly express what’s she is feeling in the moment.”
When quizzed on whether Raven could possibly be hired because of her supposed disregard of social awareness, Karamo clarified what he believes that Raven’s role on “The View” entails.
“I’m not saying that Raven is playing the role of someone ignorant.
We all have to understand that we work and have the pressures of giving them what they want us to deliver in order to keep our jobs. For the things we do not want to do that our bosses ask us to do, it takes maturity, time and seniority to be able to push back and say no.
Raven is a brilliant actress, but being a part of a talk show panel takes something extrenely diffferent. You have to be aware of what you say, how you say it and what you do at all times.
She’s been in that position for only six months. She has been getting the best of herself just like when she said “I’m from every continent in Africa.” I have met her before. This is not to take up for her, but the girl is very smart. She clearly knows that Africa is made up of countries and not continents. When you are in the moment of giving an interview and providing soundbites, as someone who has conducted many interviews, I have some of the smartest people saying some of the dumbest shit. After the interviews, those people say, ‘I didn’t mean to say that.’ All I can say to them is ‘Sorry. This is live TV.'”
Brown put the Black and Black LGBTQ backlash into further perspective with advice to the people who expressed distaste over her criticized remarks and platform.
“Raven has to learn through time and more experience how to express her thoughts with certain platforms like the Watermelondrea situation as an example. Raven wasn’t trying to sound arrogant when she said that she wouldn’t hire a girl with that name. She was trying to be coy and funny, but Black people and Black gay people do not want to see her be funny. We don’t want her to be coy. We need her to be something more.
If we took a step back and do not put Raven in this position of leadership and making her more than what she is and says she is – which she is a comedian like she was on those sitcoms, you would stop feeling betrayed by her. When she faces backlash, I put more focus on real leaders in our communities who act like leaders and to real leadership work like yourself, Janet Mock, Laverne Cox and others.”
Although I agreed with Brown’s revelation of the unfair judgement from Black Americans about Raven-Symone, I had to pick his brain on whether Raven is singled out because of her position at “The View” or would anyone Black person who expresses similar sentiments that put Raven in hot water regularly would be resisted much like the “Cosby Show” icon. Brown brought social realism to the forefront of this topic by making comparisons to other shows that feature casts of mostly people of color.
“If Raven was on ‘The Real,’ [the community] would not give a damn on her commentary because we do not respect them as authority figures on women’s or society issues. People see talk shows like ‘The Real’ and Wendy Williams’ show as people talking as friends instead of serious social commentary people.”
When quizzed on suggestions he would offer as better candidates for Raven’s seat at “The View,” Brown quickly provided names of a couple of notables.
“Wanda Sykes and Janet Mock would have made great choices for Raven’s seat.”
You may catch Karamo Brown on “HuffPost Live” as one of the host on the very popular digital talk show. Brown also contributes as a TV host, commentator, producer and writer for cable TV networks including VH-1, BET, HLN and CNN.