Sheryl Underwood Addresses 2013 Backlash And Reveals Her Real Hair
Sheryl Underwood helped launch the new season of CBS’ The Talk with a very powerful segment. The comedian revealed her natural hair on the daytime talk show two years after criticizing supermodel Heidi Klum’s biracial children’s “nappy” and “Afro” hair.
Sheryl Underwood, co-host of The Talk on CBS, is finally coming clean after facing an enormous backlash two years ago. In September 2013, Underwood, 51, was heavily criticized after she made a bad joke about Heidi Klum‘s biracial children. At the time, the registered Republican stated:
“Why would you save Afro hair? You can’t weave in Afro hair! No one walks into the hair place and says ‘Look here, what I need is curly, nappy, beady hair. That just seems nasty.”
Her comment was supposed to be funny, but the Internet was not laughing. The Little Rock, Arkansas native was called an “Uncle Tom” and a “coon,” but she initially refused to back down. Few days after the drama started, she did offer the following apology:
“You reminded me about the enormous platform that I’m blessed to have and that my words have power, and again, I hear you. I’ve always portrayed myself onstage and on TV and anywhere you see me to be strong enough to take the hit especially when I’m wrong…I was wrong. I’m grateful for the love that you all have shown me that love enough to pull my coattails and correct me when I’m wrong. I made an inappropriate joke and an unfortunate statement that hurt the community that I love and work tirelessly for. I’ve worked over the years to earn your trust and your respect and I’m going to work any harder to get it back.”
Two years later, Underwood is still apologizing and realizing that her remark was hurtful and demeaning when it comes to the representation of black culture and beauty. On September 14, the actress explained:
“I was [called] all kinds of different thing. [But] I can understand that kind of language being used because people were hurt. I made a big mistake. I cut my hair off. I cut the perm out. I still wear wigs because I like variety, but what I really wanted to do was engage women. I think that if you hide behind something then you are a coward. And I wanted to show that I was strong enough to take the truth about what people were saying.”
Underwood also added:
“I made some statements that were not only wrong, they hurt our community. In my comments and trying to explain, [which] was juxtaposed against statements that were very, very hurtful—and to come out of the mouth of a very proud black woman—I was wrong, and I wanted to take the time to apologize, especially in the forum that this discussion occurred.”
Underwood’s co-host, Julie Chen, read an apology letter that the comedian wrote to better articulate her thoughts. Chen read:
“I want to apologize for my recent attempt at humor that missed the target and hit my people squarely in the heart. To all of you, I say I’m very sorry for my failed attempt at humor surrounding something that is very sensitive to us: our hair.”
The Getting Played actress concluded the segment by putting her actions in a larger context and offering them more meaning. She said:
“There is a responsibility to being on TV. There’s a cultural responsibility. The way we got images out there—there’s no need for me to do something that causes more damage to us. In this network and in this chair, I wanted to say that I am so sorry to my community and my people for hurting you and I’m asking you for forgiveness and I will work hard to make it better. I’m gonna wear my hair like this for the rest of the show!”
Underwood was applauded for her apology, and most commenters said that she looked better with her natural hair. Fans of the program say that she is a very sweet person, and her failed joke should not be held against her.
What do you think of Sheryl Underwood’s apology? What are your thoughts on her real hair?