“I look like a bird. So can I be mad if somebody calls me Toucan Sam?” actress says while discussing fired Univision personality on “The View”
Don’t worry, Rodner Figueroa; Raven-Symone has your back.
The actress, who played Olivia on the Fox drama “Empire,” came to fired Univision personality Figueroa’s defense while guest co-hosting “The View” on Monday.
Univision fired Figueroa after he likened First Lady Michelle Obama to a cast member on “Planet of the Apes” during “El Gordo y la Flaca” last week.
During a segment on “The View,” the panel discussed the Figueroa flap, with Rosie Perez taking the moment as an opportunity to discuss racism among Latinos.
“There is a secret in the Latin community, specifically the Caribbean, South American, Central American Latin community, that they are very racist,” Perez offered. “They never want to be in the same group as [black people]. And it’s sad. It’s very, very sad. And he did say Michelle Obama looks like a cast member of the ‘Planet of the Apes,’”
“Was he saying it racist-like?” she replied.”Because he said that he voted for her later, and I don’t think he was saying it racist.”
“I am the Latin person here on this table, and I would like to tell you that it was racist, period,” Perez shot back. “You do not disrespect the First Lady of our country.”
“Michelle, don’t fire me from this right now, but some people look like animals,”
Figueroa made the comparison while discussing a viral video in which a makeup artist transforms his face to resemble a number of celebrities, including Obama.
“Well, watch out, you know that Michelle Obama looks like she’s from the cast of ‘Planet of the Apes,’ the movie,” Figueroa said.
Univision quickly let Figueroa go, after which the television personality wrote a lengthy apology to Obama in an open letter.
“I would like to explain that my remark was not directed at you, but at the result of an artist’s depiction of you that I found wasn’t accurate,” wrote Figueroa, who nonetheless admitted that “there is no justification for someone at my level to make any kind of comment that could be interpreted as offensive or disrespectful to you personally, or to any minority in the times we live.”
Figueroa, who was with Univision for 17 years, went on to note that he comes from “a multi-racial Hispanic family” with an Afro-Latino father.
Watch Raven-Symone come to Figueroa’s defense in the video.