Sheryl Underwood Sparks Controversy Over "Afro Hair" Comment & Issues an Apology
Posted on September 05 2013
The Talk co-host, Sheryl Underwood, talked her way right into some controversy.
The comedian found herself in a very uncomfortable position following a recent rerun of her daytime talk show. During an episode, which originally aired in June, Sheryl chimed in on a round-table discussion which addressed Heidi Klum's decision to preserve the remains of her bi-racial children's hair. Heidi admittedly saves their hair for keep-sake purposes as well as art projects.
In attempt to express her disgust towards Heidi's unusual ritual in a humorous manner, Sheryl questioned why anyone would want to keep "afro hair". She continued by making it a point to note that people don't ask for weaves with “curly, nappy beads.” The conversation got even more awkward when fellow co-host, Sara Gilbert, revealed that she saved her son’s hair from his first haircut. In response, Sheryl stated that it would make more sense since Sara’s son’s hair is "beautiful, long, and silky."
Here is a video from the show, just to get a better idea of how the conversation went:
The intended joke didn't go over so well with viewers. Rather, many viewers took offense to the comedian's remarks. Sheryl faced tremendous backlash after viewers caught wind of her unflattering comment. To onlookers it seemed as though Sheryl was inferring that the naturally course and kinky hair of most individuals of African decent was of lesser quality than the silky straight texture associated with people of European descent. Various people made an effort to confront Sheryl (via social media) and advice her to apologize. Sheryl soon issued an apology and statement explaining her comment.
I want to apologize at my recent attempt at humor that missed the target and hit my people squarely in the heart...My choice of words was wrong and inappropriate. I hope that in time you can forgive me...We make mistakes all the time, and I will use this as a learning experience to reflect on the power of words and how I personally use them. - Interview with Steve Harvey Morning Show
The discussion was about cutting and saving hair. I didn’t speak about Heidi Klum or her children’s hair. I stated that the act of saving hair was ‘nasty’. Cutting and saving what I consider as dead… it’s like saving fingernails. -Interview with Curly Nikki.
Unfortunately, many still believe her comment to be ignorant an unforgivable. What are your thoughts on the issue? Do you think Sheryl's remarks are totally unacceptable or is the audience being a bit too over dramatic and sensitive?