'That's So Raven' costar says Raven-Symoné wasn't initially the present's lead due to 'racism'

  • “That is So Raven” star Anneliese van der Pol mentioned Raven-Symoné wasn’t the preliminary lead of the collection.
  • On Christy Carlson Romano’s podcast, the actor prompt it was due to “racism.” 
  • “They could not actually see a Black lady main a present,” she mentioned, referring to the Disney Channel.

“That is So Raven” star Anneliese van der Pol just lately advised fellow Disney Channel alum Christy Carlson Romano that she believes Raven-Symoné wasn’t initially chosen because the lead of the hit sitcom due to “racism.” 

On Tuesday’s episode of Romano’s “Susceptible” podcast, van der Pol, who performed Raven Baxter’s finest good friend Chelsea Daniels on the Emmy-nominated present about a young person named Raven with psychic powers, defined that when she first started auditioning for the present, it was referred to as “Completely Psychic” and Raven-Symoné’s character wasn’t the star. 

“She was the sidekick… They have been searching for a lead,” Van der Pol mentioned at concerning the six-minute mark of the podcast. Van der Pol initially auditioned to play the lead character, who she thought was named Molly. One other actor, who she did not title, in the end acquired the lead position, and Raven-Symoné’s character was supporting. 

However that every one modified when manufacturing truly began, based on van der Pol.

“After they filmed, they realized that Raven was the funniest one and had a following and they also bumped her as much as first place,” she mentioned, including that once they revamped the present to focus on Raven Baxter, they reauditioned individuals. At that time, van der Pol acquired the a part of Chelsea. 

Van der Pol advised Romano that she thought the truth that Raven-Symoné did not get the lead position within the first place was “racism at a low degree, I suppose if that is even a chance.”

“They could not actually see a Black lady main a present,” she prompt, talking about Disney. She claimed that the corporate might solely see Raven because the sidekick. 

“And it is humorous,” Romano responded, “with Disney it is not private, it is enterprise.”

Representatives for the Disney and for Brookwell McNamara Leisure, the manufacturing firm that produced the primary three seasons of “That is So Raven,” did not instantly reply to Insider’s request for remark. 

Anneliese van der Pol as Belle and Raven-Symoné.

Anneliese van der Pol as Belle and Raven-Symoné backstage at “Magnificence & the Beast” on Broadway.

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic



Later of their dialog, van der Pol advised Romano that she knew Raven-Symoné, who married her spouse Miranda Maday in 2020, was homosexual “the second I met her” through the casting course of for “That is So Raven,” which started airing in 2003 and concluded with its fourth and remaining season in 2007. Van der Pol mentioned that they bonded from that second on as a result of Raven-Symoné felt comfy round somebody who knew her full identification.

The previous speak present host got here out when she was in school. 

“That is So Raven” was so profitable with Raven-Symoné on the helm that it spawned two spinoffs. The primary, referred to as “Cory within the Home,” adopted Raven’s youthful brother Cory (Kyle Massey) as he moved with their dad Victor (Rondell Sheridan) from San Francisco, the place “That is So Raven” was set, to Washington, DC, when Victor grew to become the president’s private chef. It aired for 2 seasons between 2007 and 2008.

The Disney Channel then launched a revival referred to as “Raven’s Residence” in 2017 that’s nonetheless at the moment on the air. It started with Raven and Chelsea, now adults, residing collectively as Chelsea supported the newly single Raven in elevating her twin kids. Van der Pol exited the collection in 2022, after the fourth season.

In a 2022 interview with Them, Raven-Symoné mentioned she thought the truth that she was homosexual was a “unhealthy purpose” to make her character Raven Baxter homosexual. So, on the present, she performs a straight divorced lady.

"That's So Raven"

“That is So Raven” is considered one of Disney’s most profitable franchises.

Photograph by ABC Photograph Archives/Disney Basic Leisure Content material by way of Getty Photos



Discussing the problem additional on the “Pleasure” podcast, the “Daring Kind” star mentioned she likes to distance herself from her characters as a lot as potential, as a result of as a Black homosexual lady, “I am stereotyped for the remainder of my life, let’s simply hold it 100.”

“Raven’s Residence” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on the Disney Channel. 


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