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Al Sharpton to TMZ: "Roboho" a Big No-No

7/10/2007 1:25 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Al SharptonNational Action Network President Al Sharpton has set his sights on over the word "Roboho" in a fashion piece that was published two weeks ago:

"Calling any woman a "ho" is demeaning and abusive and it should not be tolerated on any level. It is intolerable to think that would find humor in calling Beyonce -- someone who symbolizes the strength, dignity and uplifting of Black women -- a "Roboho," and they should be denounced by the entire community for glorifying the continued oppression of women with this derogatory term. Racism in America is perpetuated by ignorance and hate and using one's airwaves or media entity to promote it is a blatant setback to civil rights and the advancement of equality.

Al sharpton -- click to launch Harvey Levin -- click to play
National Action Network has been in the forefront of protesting the word "ho" and will hold a 20-city tour featuring 100 women in each market on August 7th to protest the use of the word "ho" as well as the "N" and "B" words. We encourage to retract their misogynistic labeling of Beyonce and apologize immediately."

TMZ's Response:

In response to your statement questioning TMZ's use of the term "roboho" in our BET Awards fashion story, please note that we called Beyonce's performance outfit a "roboho" not Ms. Knowles herself. There is a difference. As to accusations that our comment was racially motivated, TMZ has humorously called into question many celebs for wearing racy outfits -- regardless of their race. We've called Lindsay Lohan's trashy ensemble a "HO-rror" and even gave Kid Rock a humorous "ho" reference in a December 2006 story. Isn't the context in which a word is used almost as important, if not more so, than the actual word? While others may have used the term with maliciousness -- we clearly did not. It was a humor piece -- as all of our fashion roundup stories are.

TMZ appreciates your feedback, Rev. Sharpton, and the dialogue it has opened, but it is clear that the only thing more subjective than what is fashionable, is what one finds funny.

Britney: Taco Belle

Britney SpearsWearing an athletic tee that says "NO PUSHOVER," and apparently NO BRA, a brown-haired Brit-Brit resisted the siren call of the chalupa at a recent gas station bathroom break.

The toxic fashion disaster singer was spotted making a pit stop in Malibu while a mystery man/friend waited in her idling Mercedes. Britney had time to secure a new crapariffic ammo belt from a local military surplus store.

After checking her Cher-weave, Miss Thing skipped a run for the border. When ya gotta go, ya'll gotta go!

Trashy Brit -- click to launch

Nicole Richie in Deep

The Commissioner in the Nicole Richie DUI case did not grant the continuance Nicole Richie wanted. Period.
Nicole Richie and Joel Madden
As TMZ first reported, Richie's lawyer asked for a continuance until August 5th, because her expert witness, Dr. Terence McGee, was not available to testify then. Commissioner Steven Lubell was visibly upset and ordered both Nicole's lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, and the prosecutor into chambers. When the Commissioner came out, he said he would not rule on the continuance and ordered all parties into court tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM -- that's when the trial is scheduled to begin.

Nicole Richie -- click to launchSeems like Nicole is in a pickle. She flew to Calgary last night with baby daddy Joel Madden, who is performing a gig in the Great White North. Will Nicole bail on the concert and come back to face the Commish?

We'll let you know!

The Next Paris Hilton?

Paris Hilton: Click to watchPrepare to be creeped out -- Paris Hilton's biggest fan is a tiny 4-year-old girl.

Showing off posing skills eerily similar to those of her ex-con/socialite hero, a precocious little gal from Florida waited outside Hilton's home last night for the chance to meet the star of "One Night in Paris" and "Bottoms Up." Don't these kids have bedtimes anymore?!

When Paris emerged, the heiress worked it for the cameras with the little one right by her side -- though it's clear the younger of the two has a lot to learn about handling flashbulbs!


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Let me just say that Al Sharpton needs to just shut up. He gets in the middle of everything. He got in the middle of the Don Imus thing (that didn't even involved Al until he got in the middle of it), and now the thing in Jena (and that didn't even involve him until he got in the middle of it), Al Sharpton, let me just say, if you are not involved in the situation to start with, don't get in the middle of it. And by the way, Al Sharpton, you should just shut up, retire, become a reclusive and just shut up.

2590 days ago


I'm so sick of people making fun of Britney's outfits...if Lindsay Lohan or Nicole Ritchie were to wear those same outfits, they'd be seen as "fashion forward"...there's a reason poor Brit went overboard in her life...dumb criticism makes her "damned if she does and damned if she dooesn't!...just give her some space and start looking at your own wardrobe...i'm sure it's a heck of a lot worse than hers!

2662 days ago


how is the word "ho" a racist remark??? However inappropriate, it is a word related to her sex not ethnic background.

2662 days ago


Al Sharpton !!! Enough with the grandstanding. If anyone is perpetuating racism --- it's YOU! The outfit IS intended to get a reaction... I doubt Beyonce has a problem with a little free publicity.

2662 days ago


If you don't want to be described as looking like a prostitute, don't dress like one. I guarantee that if I wore something like that to work, the entire place would -- deservedly --call me a ho or worse. Also, Rev. Sharpton, please stop infanticizing women and people of color. Beyonce is not some frail, mentally infirm girl. She's a beautiful, strong woman and I have a feeling she can take a joke. Or at least she should be able to.

2662 days ago


Please relay to Mr. Sharpton that the problem in american society today is the total LACK of female role models for our all young woman today regardless of race. (why does he keep bringing up race anyways???arent we all americans??) And to say that Beyonce is "someone who symbolizes the strength, dignity and uplifting of Black women" while parading around in the "fashion" outfit in question states the whole problem in a nutshell! I am more interested in the size of her brain than her breasts and would be far more interested in what she has to say than show.

2662 days ago


Sharpton.. You need to get over it!! You do more harm for people than good. Stop turning everything into a racial issue, you only make matters worse than they really are!! I could go on and on, but I won't!

2662 days ago

Pet Lover    

Al Sharpton is the racest of them all. All Al wants is to be in the media himself. He can't stand for someone else to be on top. He is so jealous it hurts. He needs to get a life, one that is out of the limelight. He is a disgrace to the black community. He is a joke and a mockary. The black community could and would do so much better AND go alot further with out him !

2662 days ago


about the "roboho" comment, wut wuz the point?
i understand that u were makin a joke about her outfit, but roboho?
then u get mad when al sharpton says its not funni.
if its not funi 2 him than itz not.
y dont yall look @ it from the other point of view?

2662 days ago


Al Sharpton needs to stuff a skipload of concrete up his keister, then stand naked high atop the Empire State Building as a monument to irrationality and misplaced rage..

In a world of intelligence and reality, Sharpton is an ineffectual buffoon, a fire truck chaser, and a disingenuous opportunist in conked and pressed hair; the perfect choice to lead a Million Moron March. He's no "reverend" - unless of course you wish to call him the Reverend of Reverse Racism.

Al, you are just irrelevant.

I hope I have not been too vague.

2662 days ago


Lol, I can't believe that Rev. Sharpton said that without reading quite as much as he should have! The outfit was, admittedly, HO-riffic, but the misled criticism nuke was worse. TMZ is off the hook in my book.

2662 days ago


Mr Al,
This doesn't have anything to do with WOMEN and the word HO..this has something to do with your addiction to attention. If Beyonce was white, you would've never said a word.

2662 days ago

the vocal majority    

Al Sharpton should thank the lord every day that he was born black. He would have absolutely nothing to say if it was not race related. I, and I am sure many people are tired of the "Race Card" being played over everything said and done anymore. Hey big AL we are still waiting for your apology to the lacrosse players from Duke University, you played the race card on that one too RIGHT! Add a little more substance to ANYTHING you decide to speak about, instead of waitng for the right minute to yell race!

2662 days ago


Hey Rev Al, remember the old syaing "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt you" Get aggressive in stopping the killings and drugs in the African America communities where real GUNS do more harm than words.

2662 days ago


Does anybody really care what Al Sharpton says? He only comes out when it benefits Al Sharpton to do so. Which is usually when the cameras are on or the celebrity's name is in large lights.

2662 days ago
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