black women

QVC Host Says Sorry After Ridiculing Black Woman’s Natural Hair

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qvc-natural-hairBy Angela L. Braden

QVC Host Sandra Bennett is under fire for making rude and insensitive remarks about a black woman’s natural hair. In a segment dedicated to selling Dooney and Bourke products, while a black woman with tall, fluffy curls modeled the bag, Bennett actually had the nerve to say, “You might look back and think… Why did I wear my hair like that? But I still like my purse.”

Uh, what? Did she really think that was okay to say? She’s obviously one of two things: shamelessly disrespectful of black women or outright clueless. Perhaps the QVC saleslady is both.

Adding insult to injury, her co-host thought it was a good idea to also join into the disrespect of black women’s natural hair.

“That’s right. You won’t look at your hair in the picture. You’ll look at your handbag.”

So, QVC has a serious diversity issue. Their co-hosts seem to think it is okay to make disrespectful remarks about a person’s “natural” appearance. Well, not any person’s natural appearance; just black women’s natural appearance.

Sandra Bennett has now issued a disingenuous apology on the QVC Facebook page.

“I want to apologize to anyone I offended during a recent Dooney & Bourke show. I made a comment along the lines of when you carry a Dooney, you look good even if you don’t do your hair. It was meant to be lighthearted, but in the middle of my comment, the camera cut to Michelle, an African-American model. I want to be clear that I was in no way talking about her. It was just terrible timing.”

Yeah, right. I believe that just as much as I believe that fat meat ain’t greasy. That apology was issued as a result of QVC’s effort to put some serious damage control in effect. The network surely does not want black women in the U.S. to block their support of the television shopping center.

Luke Visconti, the CEO of Diversity Inc., had this to say about the issue:

“Psychological tests show that people most trust people who look like them. Since white men run most corporations in this country, straightened hair and/or lighter skin is going to be an advantage (disturbing, but let’s keep it real). Companies that manage past bias and hire, mentor and promote equitably have better talent. They are also better prepared for the future as our country becomes more diverse.”

Sadly, black women have been discriminated against because of skin color, just ask the ladies from Bill Duke’s award-winning “Light Girls” and “Dark Girls”documentaries about the subject. Now, it seems that skin color is not the only issue that black women have to worry about people judging them harshly about. Hair texture is the latest issue to impact society’s perception of a black woman’s personality, abilities, and intentions.
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I guess Bill Duke will be covering this issue next.

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95 Comments

  1. Playrighter

    January 30, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    I watched the tape. Clearly the lady was NOT addressing the model. She was praising the bag. It wouldn’t matter what model was shown. Is it possible that some people are a bit too sensitive?

    • BJ

      January 30, 2015 at 8:21 pm

      She should be fired. We have been making excuses for bigots long enough. “If I have offended anyone” is a joke.

      • Playrighter

        January 30, 2015 at 11:32 pm

        Please explain precisely what she should be fired for. For continuing to talk about how great the bag is when the director decides to put up a shot of a model (who was out of the picture for most of the conversation)?

        If you say something innocent when someone inserts a picture of something else — does that make you a racist deserving to be fired?

        Can you really not see how this had nothing to do with any model?

        • CJ

          February 9, 2015 at 1:33 pm

          I watched the tape. Clearly the Host was praising the bag at the expense of the model. If this was an audio feed with no video, then we the audience would not have known any difference. But that model was there on set, as the models are on QVC, while the Host(s) are displaying the item. The model heard the praising of the bag at her expense. She, the model, could have, and as far as we know has, raise a complaint. Yet, being that there is audio AND video, QVC’s viewers and customers are raising complaints, regardless of when/how the camera was panned over to the model. Is it possible that some people are a bit insensitive?

  2. ericaf

    January 30, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    I watched it and to me she was not referencing the model, the camera was panned on the model so it seemed insensitive but I personally don’t think it was directed at the model.

  3. belle

    January 30, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    The camera person panned over to the model, just as she made that comment. Could it be Micro-aggression, or should the camera person justify panning at the moment? I don’t think it was intended to be a slight of hand, off the cuff comment. I shop at, HSN; better stuff than QVC.

  4. ShelD

    January 31, 2015 at 1:25 am

    Definitely not geared toward the model. They are talking about the longevity of the bag. She references having the bag for ten years and looking back at a photo… and saying (as women do) why did I wear my hair like that? Oh.. but I like my bag. Her point is that some styles change (such as hair) and others remain classic (in this case the bag).
    Jeez, everything isn’t racial… coming from a black women with fluffy hair.

  5. Nikki

    February 1, 2015 at 4:01 am

    White supremacy is real. White folks are getting bolder with their racism (remember the white lady sitting on the black woman chair?)

  6. Zaheerah Aleem

    February 4, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Hey, just stop shopping QVC. Duh.

  7. Anike

    February 9, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    The model seemed to sense the announcer was speaking about her hair do as her expression changed.

    I am glad that the sales lady at minimim issued an apology.
    Lots of women wear their hair in that fashion. They also like nice handbags. Dooney and Burke should not offend anyone who even remotely may be interested or willing to buy a two hundred dollar handbag.

    The above tape was posted on Facebook two weeks ago.

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