Comedian Sheryl Underwood caught some backlash recently for a comment she made about “nappy” hair.
During Friday’s episode of “The Talk”, guest Heidi Klum shared that she saves the “shorn hair” of her biracial children with ex-husband Seal. She described her children’s hair as “pretty.”
“Why would you save Afro hair?” She went on to imply that nobody wants that type of hair, saying that you never hear of a woman in a hair shop asking for that “curly, nappy, beady” hair.
Then, it got worse. Wrote Tracy Clayton at The Root:
Co-host Sarah Gilbert chimed in, saying that she, too, sometimes saves her children’s hair, and Underwood interjected, saying that it was “probably some beautiful, long, silky stuff,” implying that that type of hair is desirable and worth saving. The only thing more hurtful than hearing those words was co-host Aisha Tyler’s silence and listening to the enthusiastic laughter of the audience, who, apparently, agreed.
Twitter was all over this..
“Yet another example of Black complicity in white supremacy,” tweeted a popular blogger known as Anti_Intellect in response to Underwood’s statement.
“And I ain’t get into this over the weekend, but did Sheryl Underwood really pop off about natural afros while sporting a silky wig?” noted media personality Goldie Taylor on the irony of Underwood’s comments.
While some people defended Underwood’s freedom of speech, others were so upset that they attacked the comic’s weight and appearance in apparent retaliation for her statements on afro hair.
“I couldn’t possibly care less about what Sheryl Underwood and that dead alpaca on her head think about afros,” tweeted one such user.
During a sit down with a natural hair guru, Curly Nikki, Sheryl Underwood had this to say about the backlash she received:
“Everyday after the show, I look at the footage as a way to continue to strive to be better… to express myself better. I play everything back so I can watch, learn and improve. When that segment played back, I knew that it would be misunderstood,” she said at the top of the interview. “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. People are accusing me of calling natural hair ‘nasty’. I did not say that.”
In conclusion, she reiterated “I made a mistake and I’m sorry.”
“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,” she promised. “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.”
Did you find Sheryl Underwood’s comments about hair offensive?