This morning, The View confirmed that Raven-Symoné would be joining the show as one of its permanent panelists. The show announced its new host with much fanfare: There was confetti and Kool & The Gang's "Celebration" played in the background, while the audience cheered. Raven-Symoné has, according to The New York Times, guest-hosted The View 37 times, so she already has a rapport with the show's other panelists. The current roster of permanent hosts the starlet joins includes Whoopi Goldberg, Nicolle Wallace and Rosie Perez. In a statement released to the press (also published by The Times), the actress noted her lack of daytime talk show experience. "I have a lot to learn within this new arena, but being the apprentice of these spectacular women will only make me a better person and talk show host." Although, this appointment doesn't come without controversy. During several of her past appearances on The View, she made statements that ruffled quite a few feathers. After Univision host Rodner Figueroa was fired for remarks he made on-air about Michelle Obama's appearance, she told the panelists on The View that, "Some people look like animals. I look like a bird! So can I be mad if somebody calls me Toucan Sam?" During another guest-hosting stint in May, she disagreed with an online poll in which Harriet Tubman was selected as the woman people most want to see replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. "Me personally, I would have chosen Rosa Parks. I would have chosen someone that is closer to the progression that we're doing now. And I know you have to understand history so that you don't repeat it, but that doesn't really happen in our world, because we still repeat history of hating other cultures over and over again. So I would choose a different one, no offense," she said. Raven-Symoné has courted controversy off The View as well. When she appeared on Oprah's Where Are They Now?, she said, "I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American. I’m an American." Her remarks quickly made headlines, as was forced to clarify what she meant. "I never said I wasn’t black … I want to make that very clear. I said, I am not African-American. I never expected my personal beliefs and comments to spark such emotion in people. I think it is only positive when we can openly discuss race and being labeled in America." Now, keep in mind that The View has never shied away from hosts with controversial opinions in the past, like Jenny McCarthy and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Raven-Symoné is bound to start some interesting discussions when she sits down with Goldberg, Wallace, and Perez. The show is obviously eager for her to begin, because her start date is tomorrow.
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