Comedienne, actress and The Talk co-host Sheryl Underwood set off a firestorm of angry criticism aimed her way after making known her disdain for natural Black hair. During an episode of her talk program, she called Black hair “nasty” – and critics on Twitter took Underwood to task.
Underwood, who often dons a wig on The Talk, responded in a previously aired episode that was shown again last Friday (August 30) to model Heidi Klum’s practice of saving her biracial children’s hair after a cut. Klum, who was married to singer Seal, said her sons grow huge afros and she keeps the hair in a zip-lock bag. The entire panel was taken aback but it was Underwood’s response that turned heads.
“OK, I’m sorry but why would you save Afro hair,” asked Underwood with a smile. “You can’t weave in Afro hair, you’ll never see us at the hair place going ‘look here, what I need is this nappy, curly, beady hair.’ That just seems nasty.”
The audience also found it quite humorous and co-host Aisha Tyler, a Black woman, appeared to chuckle uncomfortably. However, co-host Sarah Gilbert chimed in and said she does the same with her children, to which Underwood said that their hair was “some long beautiful silky stuff” and following up with saying Afro hair doesn’t compare.
As expected, Black Twitter converged on Underwood’s time line and made their case. Showing no fear of the response and even a bit of fairness, Underwood retweeted and responded to both supporters and detractors equally. At one point, the host told users to “lighten up” which angered many.
A quick scan of her time line today shows that Underwood has moved on beyond the discussion while op-eds continue to pop up based on the initial comments.
Watch video of Underwood’s remarks on Afro hair below.