ABC has voiced support for The View co-host, Raven Symoné, after 120,000 people signed a petition to have her fired.
The View is no stranger to controversy. The hosts on the show regularly tackle touchy subjects and aren’t afraid to express their opinions, however unpopular. Last week, the hosts discussed the video of the South Carolina cop who was filmed in an altercation with a student.
The incident being discussed began when a student from Spring Valley school wouldn’t put her cell phone away. She was asked several times to get off her phone during class time. Things escalated and police officer, Ben Fields, arrived on scene. He was filmed in the classroom asking the student several times to leave with him. After it became clear she was not going to comply with his demands, he’s seen grabbing her from her desk and dragging her across the classroom.
Leon Lott is a sheriff from the Richland County Sheriff’s department. He reported that the department has fired Officer Ben Fields after detailed internal investigations into the event. He announced Wednesday:
“He was wrong and so was his action. It’s not what I expect of my deputies. He picked a student up, and he threw a student across the room. Based on that, that is a violation of our policy. I do not feel the proper procedure was used at that point, and that’s what caused me my heart burn, and my issues with this. The maneuver that he used was not based on the training or acceptable. (…) This whole incident started by this student. She is responsible for initiating this action. There’s some responsibility that falls on her. Now the actions of our deputy – that falls on [us]. Now, what she did doesn’t justify what our deputy did. It doesn’t justify his actions. But she must be held responsible for what she did.”
The officer’s actions were discussed by the hosts during the episode of The View. At some point in the discussion, Symone stated:
“There’s no right or reason for him to be doing this type of harm, that’s ridiculous, but at the same time, you gotta follow the rules in school. You are in school, get off your phone. (…) We don’t know what she said, but she did not get up. They called [Fields] as a last resort. He talked to her for 30 seconds and she still didn’t get up. She still didn’t put the phone away. You do not need to be manhandling a child that way, but at the same time, kids, put your phones away.”
Some people interpreted her comments as a defence of the cop’s actions. Che Scott-Heron was one of those people. He created a petition on Wednesday after hearing Symoné’s response to the video. The petition, which now has 120,000 supporters, was a push to get The View creator, Barbara Walters, to fire Symoné from the talk show.
The petition is posted on change.org and states:
“African Americans and black people around the diaspora need a voice representative of their views and not a voice representative of what white people want us to say. We need strong black role models in prominent positions on television and Raven Symoné cannot provide that.”
Symoné hasn’t responded at all to the petition, but ABC certainly has and they are showing nothing but support. On Saturday, ABC told Hollywood Reporter:
“We love Raven. She is confident, genuine and opinionated, all qualities that make her a great addition to the panel.”
Express News “New!! Cop Assaults High School Student in South Carolina Classroom #assaultatspringvalleyhigh” YouTube. 27 October 2015. Web. 02 November 2015.