Sheryl Underwood Apologizes For 'Nappy' Hair Comments; Listen To 'Talk' Host Say Sorry After Insulting Natural Black Hair And Afros [AUDIO & VIDEO]

By Melissa Siegel September 5, 2013 10:18 AM EDT
Sheryl Underwood Apologizes

Sheryl Underwood's comments on natural black hair have been criticized on social media. (Photo: Getty Images)

Sheryl Underwood has apologized after her comments against "nappy" hair went viral. The Talk host questioned why Heidi Klum would save her sons' hair after she cut it.

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"So two of my boys, they have big afros, and when I shaved them all down, I kept all the hair and I put it in a Ziploc bag," Klum told YourTango.com earlier this year. "I keep everything! But then, I waited and I'm like, 'I don't know what I'm gonna do with this.' It was so beautiful, this whole bag of afro: one for Henry, one for Johan."

But Underwood, who is black, did not think there was reason for Klum to keep this "afro" hair. "Why would you save afro hair?" she asked. "You can't weave afro hair. You never see us at the hair place going 'Look, here, what I need here is, I need those curly, nappy beads."

Sara Gilbert, who is white, added that she, too, saves her children's hair after it is cut. Underwood then implied that this "beautiful, long silky" hair was worth keeping, unlike the "nappy" afro hair from Klum's kids.

Watch video of Sheryl Underwood's controversial hair comments below.


While the clip in question is several weeks old, the episode re-aired on Friday, prompting harsh reaction on social media. Many called out the host for questioning the beauty of natural black hair. Tracy Clayton of TheRoot.com expressed the sentiment of many in a post on the website.

"The idea that blackness is bad by virtue of its not being white, that black people are biologically undesirable and unattractive, is nothing new," she wrote. "Underwood's comments come from the same sentiment that has had black folks bleaching their skin and white folks lightening us for their magazines and advertisements. That Underwood bashed natural hair from beneath a very heavy-looking wig full of the 'beautiful, long, silky stuff' she covets so much is telling."

So Sheryl Underwood has been on an apology media tour, starting with an interview on CurlyNikki.com. The host told the website that she felt her comment was "misunderstood."

"The discussion was about cutting and saving hair," Underwood said. "I didn't speak about Heidi Klum or her children's hair. I stated that the act of saving hair was 'nasty.' Cutting and saving what I consider as dead ... it's like saving fingernails. People are accusing me of calling natural hair 'nasty.' I did not say that."

She added that the statement to Gilbert about "beautiful, silky hair" was a "poor choice of words." Then, on Wednesday, Sheryl Underwood apologized once again during an appearance on The Steve Harvey Morning Show.

"I want to apologize for my recent attempt at humor that missed the target and hit my people squarely in the heart," she said. "To all of you I say, I'm very sorry for my failed attempt at humor surrounding something that's very sensitive to us: our hair."

Listen to audio of Sheryl Underwood's apology here.

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