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Raven-Symoné sat down with Alicia Quarles of E! to talk about her roles on Empire and Black-ish, the use of the ‘n’ word — and to try to clarify some of the controversial race comments (and actions) she has made over the last year.

Check out the interview below:

On Defending Univision Host Rodner Figueroa’s FLOTUS ‘Planet of the Apes’ Comment:
“I don’t think I was defending. I think he got fired for a reason. It was very distasteful what he said, it was very distasteful. And I don’t believe she looks like one at all. I don’t believe she should’ve been casted, but I do know that a lot of people I know have animal traits.”

“I think any time something is dealing with race, that is still an open wound and you try to look at it from a different standpoint, people are gonna get mad. Especially when it’s socially out, blasted, and people don’t read the whole story. Just like a lot of my comments. People don’t read into the whole story and start making things and they say, I said this and I said this and I’m trying to be a different race, but I’m not trying to be.”

On Her Oprah Interview and Being Labeled African-American:
“I never said I wasn’t black. I said I wasn’t African American and to me, that’s a difference,” she explains and mentions that she recently found out, thanks to a DNA test from Ancestry.com, that she’s actually from almost every CONTINENT (yes she said continent) in Africa and Europe.

“We are a melting pot of beauty. We have to embrace the different cultures we have. And if you don’t, we’re still gonna have these problems that are blasting up everywhere. And call me hippie, call me a free-thinker, call me someone that’s looking for a better life, but I wanna be in a better world.””

On the N-word:
It’s hard, because people use it in their everyday language behind the scenes all day, and some shows will air it and some shows won’t,” she tells us. “And there’s a lot of pain connected to it, but then there’s a lot of brotherly love connected to it, and I feel like you shouldn’t say a word you wouldn’t let anybody else use.”

Image Credit: Getty Images

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