Raven-Symoné has revealed that she rejected Disney’s request to make her character a lesbian in the That’s So Raven spin-off series.
That’s So Raven is a Disney Channel series revolving around the life of Raven Baxter (played by Raven-Symoné), a woman who can see the future.
In 2017, a spin-off called Raven’s Home launched which Raven-Symoné also starred in as the same character.
In an interview with her wife, Miranda Maday, on Straw Hut Media’s Pride podcast, the actress revealed that Disney approached her to request that her character be a lesbian in the new show.
“You know what, there was a conversation before the series started, and I was asked the question: ‘Would you like Raven Baxter to be a lesbian?’” Raven-Symoné explained. “And I said ‘no’. I said ‘no’.”
She explained that her decision was rooted in not wanting to change her character to “fit the actress that played her”.
Raven-Symoné continued: “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.
“It was because Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter.”
The Disney star detailed that she was fearful of her character becoming too similar to herself and did not want to be an actress guilty of “blending your personal self with your character self”.
She noted that the “quiet undertones” of Baxter living with Chelsea “was enough” for the audience.
“And there was no reason for me to change the human that she was in order to fit the actress that played her,” Raven-Symoné said.
“And Raven Baxter is a character that I was proud to play. Even if she is straight, cisgender. I don’t mind. Let her have her moment.”
That’s So Raven aired four seasons on the Disney Channel from 2003-2007, with Raven’s Home’s fourth season concluding earlier this year.