Raven-Symoné explains why she turned down Disney’s offer to have her ‘That’s So Raven’ character be a lesbian in the reboot

Raven Symoné Getty Images 2018
Raven Symoné attends the 2018 Radio Disney Music Awards at Loews Hollywood Hotel on June 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. Rich Fury/Getty Images
  • Raven-Symoné said she rejected Disney’s offer to have Raven Baxter identify as a lesbian.
  • Raven Baxter is happily divorced on “Raven’s Home” and doesn’t kiss men.
  • Symoné tries to separate her personal identity from the characters she plays whenever possible.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Raven-Symoné has publicly identified as a lesbian since 2013 and has been married to her wife Miranda Pearman-Maday for over a year. But the “Raven’s Home” actress revealed on the “PRIDE” podcast that she turned down Disney’s offer to have her character identify as a lesbian in the show.

“The reason I said no wasn’t because I wasn’t proud of who I was or [because] I didn’t want to represent the LGBTQ+ community in any way,” she explained. “It was because Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter.”

The former cohost of “The View” said she is “proud” to play Raven Baxter. “Even if she is straight [and] cisgender, I don’t mind, let her have her moment,” the actress added.

Symoné, who appeared on the podcast with her wife, said that she did make one thing very clear to executives: On “Raven’s Home,” Raven Baxter would be happily divorced with no desire to date any time soon. “I heard her [say] in so many conversations, ‘no boyfriends, I’m not kissing anybody, no boyfriends,'” Pearman-Maday said, laughing.

Raven Baxter also remains straight so that Symoné can put even more distance between herself and her iconic character.

“I’m stereotyped for the rest of my life, let’s just keep it 100,” she said. While she understands that this is a reality that comes with playing such a beloved character, she has no qualms with separating her personal identity from Raven Baxter’s as much as possible.

Since the original “That’s So Raven” wrapped in 2007, Symoné has appeared on popular shows like Fox’s “Empire” and Freeform’s “The Bold Type.” She’s also had a recurring role on ABC’s hit sitcom “black-ish” playing Andre Johnson’s (Anthony Anderson) sister Rhonda.

Symoné has previously spoken about how she only became truly comfortable in her own skin in her late 20s. But she has said that she doesn’t feel pressure as a celebrity to be inauthentic in public. “I’ve pretty much told the industry, in my head, that I don’t care what they say,” she told Variety in 2019.