Raven-Symoné has again asserted that she didn’t want her character on Disney’s That’s So Raven reboot, Raven’s Home, to come out as gay. The actor now says she shut down what she felt was an initial push from Disney to make Raven Baxter a gay character, smelling something fishy in the studio’s motives.
In the series, Symoné reprises her role as Raven Baxter roughly 10 years after she starred as the clairvoyant, adventurous teen. Raven’s Home finds Raven living with her best friend Chelsea (fellow Raven-verse veteran Anneliese van der Pol). Raven is divorced and single now; both of the women have kids of their own.
“I think Disney wanted her to be queer in the beginning and I just didn’t feel comfortable doing that,” Symoné shares in a recent video interview with them. “They were like, ‘Do you want Raven to be gay?’ I said, ‘Why?’ [and they said,] ‘Because you are.’ I said, ‘Bad, bad reason. That’s a bad reason.’”
The actor continues: “No, Raven Baxter never exhibited any type of sexual identity situation in the priors. I’m not being myself on this show, I’m being a character. Raven Baxter’s not gay. No matter what the first four seasons looked like, with me and Chelsea sleeping in the same room and us raising a family together. Okay, that’s not the case. We are friends. Who sleep in the same room.”
Symoné has previously spoken about her pride in playing Raven Baxter as a straight character. She shared on the “Pride” podcast last year that she didn’t want Raven to come out as queer simply because she saw no reason the LGBTQ+ Raven-Symoné couldn’t play the heterosexual Raven Baxter.
“The reason I said no wasn’t because I wasn’t proud of who I was, or I didn’t want to represent the LGBTQ+ community in any way,” Symoné said. “It was because Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter and there was no reason for me to change the human that she was in order to fit the actress that played her.”