ABC has responded with a statement of support for beleaguered "The View" co-host Raven-Symoné after an online petition to remove her from the show garnered more than 100,000 signatures.
"We love Raven," an ABC representative said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Saturday. "She is confident, genuine and opinionated, all qualities that make her a great addition to the panel."
The petition, directed to "The View" executive producer Barbara Walters, went online Wednesday following a series of controversial statements by the 29-year-old singer-actress and former child star, who in June was named a co-host of the daytime panel-discussion show.
With imprecise spelling and punctuation, the petition by Che Scott-Heron of London said Raven-Symoné "has been spouting her ignorant and self hating spiel on the view for Long enough, from stating that she wouldn't hire somebody for having a ghetto name, to openly complaining about reverse racism, the final straw was her comment about the recent viral video of the school police officer assaulting the student, where Raven Symone said 'get off your phone in school then.' African Americans and black people around the diaspora need a voice representative of their views and not a voice representative of what white people want us to say. We need strong black rolemodels in prominent positions on television an Raven Symone cannot provide that."
The petition reached 50,000 signatures in a day, and by Sunday afternoon stood at more than 127,000, with a goal of 150,000.
Raven-Symoné, who has not mentioned the petition on "The View," apologized on Oct. 11 for what many considered racially insensitive remarks regarding name discrimination in hiring. Last year, before joining the show, she engendered controversy when she decried ethnic labeling, saying, "I'm not an African-American. I'm an American."
On Tuesday's broadcast, she responded to a viral video of a South Carolina high-school girl forcibly removed from her desk, thrown to the floor, dragged and handcuffed by a sheriff's deputy after refusing to give up her cellphone.
"There's no right reason for him to be doing this type of harm . . . but at the same time, you've got [to] follow the rules in school."