Everyone is entitled to their opinion, until their thoughts deviate from popular opinion.
We have all seen celebrities working daytime talk shows get drug through the mud on social media when they have an opinion that goes against the sentiments of certain communities. This is especially true for Black hosts on daytime talk shows. Regardless of how they feel, it doesn't stop them from feeling hurt when they are met with pushback as a result of speaking their mind.
This is the topic that Sheryl Underwood addressed on the CBS daytime talk show The Talk in a tearful and emotional plea for the Black community to check their sensitivity levels when a Black host feels differently than the court of public opinion. Her plea came about after her co-host, Aisha Tyler, was slammed for trying to explain both sides of a viral video that showed a student getting drug out of her desk by a South Carolina school resources officer.
After Aisha's segment, Twitter was pissed with her. The way they saw it, Aisha was defending the school resources officer for his actions.
@aishatyler non compliance is no justification for a girl to be assaulted.— ramon (@ramon)1445975728.0
So she went on Twitter to clarify her statements.
Anyone who thinks I was defending that officer in SC wasn't listening. It was indefensible. And I said so. CLEARLY.— Aisha Tyler (@Aisha Tyler)1445971507.0
And for the haters who want to spew a bunch of judgmental reactionary bullsh*t, well, you know what you are free to do. #enjoy— Aisha Tyler (@Aisha Tyler)1445972539.0
Internets STAY mad lols https://t.co/YHOYlmvclQ— Aisha Tyler (@Aisha Tyler)1445975441.0
But none of this stopped the actions of a few from being hurtful. So Sheryl took a moment to clarify some things that was said during Aisha's segment last week.
And I gotta say this; Aisha Tyler took a lot of hits yesterday for trying to explain both sides, as she does on this show. I would like to say to the Black community; please stop attacking us. We did not lose our street credibility just because we have an opinion that’s different than most because we [audience applause], we are the people that, they think [that because] we made it on the white network so we don’t talk white. We are the people that are coming there with you when black lives matter to help bring those cameras so don’t attack us. [Audience applause] So, I want people to know, Aisha and I talked about this, we hurt when this happens to us. But, to my sister at this table, you have a right to say how you feel without people attacking you. [Audience applause]
Sheryl went on to discuss the problems behind belittling Black co-hosts when they have unpopular opinions.
We take a lot of hits here. We fought hard to get to this table. We fought hard to get to this table, this network. And every day we are black, every day. But we are becoming a nation that now fears our children, and fear our police. What do we do to get to a solution where we can live together and people obey lawful orders, and law enforcement will stop treating us, those that do, that treat us as if we are animals. We are tired of this and we’re not going to tolerate this. And I will say this before I let you go. I am doing town hall meetings with Benjamin Crump at the National Bar Association, so that we can get out into the community and we can talk about solutions. Jobs, the way our young people deal with authority, the way our young people understand what is a lawful order and what they should say I’m not going to do because I know my rights and I don’t have to, just like white people do every day. Every day you all deal with the police, but you don’t worry about dying and you don’t worry about being attacked. But every day, me and Aisha gotta worry about somebody that don’t watch The Talk. So. I’m just saying.
Aisha isn't the first Black co-host to receive backlash for having an unpopular opinion. Several weeks ago, Raven-Symoné expressed her thoughts on discriminating against women with culturally unique names (like Watermelondrea). Her opinion on the subject was so unpopular that she became a trending topic on Twitter.
Raven has since released a statement apologizing for what she said, but that didn't stop the court of public opinion petitioning to get her off the air.
Last week, Raven Symoné almost said the same thing as Aisha Tyler on the subject of the South Carolina school resources officer, and she was met with a petition, that had more than 120,000 signatures as of Monday, to get her off of the air. The petition's creator, who identifies herself as Che Scott-Heron, daughter of the late performer Gill Scott-Heron, clarified in a comment on the petition that she never meant for the petition to be hurtful.
Ok so I have been on twitter and i am seeing a lot of comments saying "a petition wont get her off the show" and "why don't you petition police brutality", let me address the first point, i am highly aware that the likelihood that The View will remove Raven Symone is very slim, but this petition has created conversation, it has unified us, it has brought awareness to the issue and public media sources have stated out complaints, that is the first step, she may not lose her job but she will read the comments and understand the black population is not happy with her. Number 2, of course police brutality is a much bigger issue than Raven Symone but we are fighting BOTH. The narrative of Raven Symone contributes to peoples opinions of black people and then contributes to police brutality, it is all interlinked.
Unfortunately, the petition inadvertently started a digital lynch mob against the co-host, which means that if ABC suddenly decided not to stand with Raven, one more person of color will be out of a job. Some Twitter users didn't appreciate that.
Yo Che Scott-Heron: Screw you and your petition. Raven is not representing 'black' views; they're 'her' views. She is allowed those.— DJ Maxxx (@DJ Maxxx)1446355998.0
Policing the words of media personalities seems to be a "thing" in the social media world. Don Lemon, Adrienne Bailon, Whoopi Goldberg, Larry Elder, and Tamar Braxton have all found themselves on the receiving end of backlash after they expressed their opinions on popular headlines.
Do you think audiences should check our sensitivity levels when people of color on television state their opinions on controversial subjects? Or should hosts watch what they say, and keep their opinions neutral when it comes to dcuisssing popular headlines? More importantly, do you think that attacking hosts for making an unpopular opinion will lead to more people being "puppets" for daytime television? I'm not playing Devil's Advocate, I'd really like to know your opinion.
Watch Sheryl's full tearful plea here, and tell us what you think.