Sheryl Underwood may be in a bit of trouble right now. Over the weekend, the 49-year-old show co-host,comedian, and actress made some controversial comments about black natural hair during an encore presentation of ‘The Talk.’ While discussing Heidi Klum’s revelation that she saves all of her son’s hair (her son is bi-racial) after cutting, Underwood stated:
Why would you save afro hair? You can’t weave afro hair. You never see us at the hair place going ‘Look, here, what I need here is, I need those curly, nappy beady…That just seems nasty.”
When co-host Sarah Gilbert added that she also saves her child’s hair, Underwood responded:
It’s probably some beautiful long, silky stuff.
So what’s the big deal? Her remarks set off a firestorm on Twitter with some calling her ‘coon’ and all sorts of not-so-nice names. What’s more? Black activists are demanding an public apology. Underwood spoke with blogger Curly Nikki to clear up her side explaining:
That was a bad choice of words. A bad juxtaposition of words to imply that our hair is not good. I made a mistake. I will own up to that mistake. I’m going to talk to God and change the way I articulate things and be more cognizant. I’m not perfect and I bet if you put a camera on someone all day, they’d eventually say something they’d regret too. I am asking you to forgive me for the statement I made, which to me, is a power only God has, really. I’m not what you think I am. I don’t have self-hate. I am not ashamed of my Blackness or who I am. In highschool I had a giant afro. In college I was militant. I loved my afro puff. My dad instilled Black pride in me. I have no hair shame whatsoever.
I am going to make mistakes, because I’m human. And I’m sorry for what my words inferred, but it doesn’t call my Blackness into question. My Blackness comes out in other ways, subtle ways. On the show, when they refer to him as simply, ‘Obama’, I straighten them up and remind them that he ain’t your boy, he’s the president. President Obama. I’m learning lessons, and I cannot evolve if I’m not allowed to be empowering. There is a consequence to everything that you do and say. I understand why a part of my community was disappointed in the implication that Black, natural hair is bad and that White hair is good. I will be much more careful with everything I say. Please do not attack my colleagues, my family, my friends. I’m with ya’ll. I’m fighting for you everyday and despite making myself available on the radio show and on Twitter, I don’t feel like you’re letting me engage in a respectful conversation.
Peep the video clip below.
Do you think Underwood comments were offensive? Or are we being too sensitive?