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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 TMZ.com 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 TMZ.com 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 TMZ.com 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!

COMMENTS

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16.

purple silkies    

I am concerned that he is so upset about what somebody said about one black woman. Beyonce or not.......how many rap artists out there are selling millions upon millions of cd's and not talking about one woman but all women. He is worried that she is a role model for young women around the world and shouldn't be treated as such. But how many rap artists are role models too? I believe they are reaching more young listeners and have much more effect on the way women are perceived. I wonder if he may be scared to fight that and talk about that because of oh say maybe a drive by or two?

2600 days ago
17.

mslataprada    

Hi:

This man is wrong for saying the "HO" word while talking about anyone. He need to be conscious about what he say before he say it. He need to take heed or he will be another Imus.

Mslataprada

2600 days ago
18.

Jon    

I hate Al. I put him in the same category as Ann Coulter in the "Conservatives I Want Dead" category.

2600 days ago
19.

rocky    

Hey Sharpton, SHUT UP

2600 days ago
20.

W.J. Mann    

Since when did Al Sharpton become a media censor. He's stuck his nose into every conceivable matter and it's time he learned to both read things carefully and then shutup!

2600 days ago
21.

Rick Stephens    

I just have one question: When is Rev. Al gona apologise to the Duke LaCross players?

2600 days ago
22.

dfs724    

I have NOT seen Rev. Sharpton raising hell in the news about the "rappers" demeaning women with the term "Ho". Surely he wouldn't play the race card....would he?

2600 days ago
23.

Shawn Breaux    

Rev. Al Sharpton has become a joke. Although his intentions were originally good and deserved a conversation, he is now bordering on insanity. When people - especially public figures - attempt to control the words we, the people, including private businesses, use on a daily basis, you know there is a problem.

I stand by TMZ in that this was a joke about her outfit, not a person or their race. Lighten up, Sharpton, or otherwise it's time to end your "career."

2600 days ago
24.

American    

Go Al ! And take Jessie with you!

2600 days ago
25.

dodger    

1st off beyonce aint no Ho... 2nd how can you say how she dressed that makes her a hoe.. you have not heard that she slept around with lots of men and so on so how does that make her a ho. 3rd to say Al Sharpton has a good point... so yall just need to shut up and how is he racist... For all i can care yall can kick rocks.... white people aint no good.. yall aint nuthin but crooks and think yall rule the world.. dats why i dont like half of yall now.. bastards.. and yal just mad cause us black people are coming up in this world and runnin stuff... give it a couple more years us BLACK PEOPLE gonna have this whole USA in the palm of our hands

2600 days ago
26.

Jake    

Listen I'm all for no racism and everything, but roboho is just something someone said. Someone of no importance. But rappers and some actors can go around and say ho all they want and Al Sharpton don't say a dang thing. I'm tired of hearing about Al Sharpton taking down the little people. That dude is just probably the editor and let it slide because I'm willing to bet that Beyonce didn't care about it and just blew it off. But no Al Sharpton thinks that just cause this guy is the editor or journalist of a magazine that he should be punished for saying "Roboho" when like I stated before actors and rappers say ho all the time, but Al Sharpton knows that they can afford top dollar attorneys so he doesn't mess with them. He is slowly trying to crush the amendment giving FREE SPEECH! Now Al Sharpton is doing all this stuff as a publicity stunt. I've got a message for AL SHARPTON "IF YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING USEFUL, TRY TAKING ON THE BIG GUYS AND NOT THE LITTLE ONES. YOU'RE LIKE A SCHOOL YARD BULLY ALWAYS PICKING ON THE LITTLE KIDS BUT NEVER THE BIG KIDS." Sincerely, Jake

2600 days ago
27.

Melissa    

I can understand Al Sharpton wanting to stop the use of negative words but he needs to start in his own backyard. You can't condemn TMZ for using words that most, if not all, rap artists use on a regular basis. They are the ones that should be targeted for portraying black women negatively, not TMZ. When you can get them to stop denigrating their own then maybe you can get the rest of the world to follow. Lead by example!

2600 days ago
28.

OpinionatedLady    

I think everyone (including TMZ.com and Rev.Al Sharpton) should just be more careful of the words we choose to use even in jest. Although it may have been meant as a joke, there are still alot of people who could be offended by the use of those words-- period. Everyone does not have the same sense of humor. I understand that TMZ did not mean to offend anyone but I do also understand Rev. Sharpton's point of view.

2600 days ago
29.

lynn    

Al Sharpton needs to address his own "peeps" and get them to stop calling black women ho's before he tries to sanction anyone else. He should be ashamed of himself for profiting as he has off his own people!

2600 days ago
30.

Damon    

I am a black man and I want Al Sharpton to disappear. He's a pot-stirrer. He has no pull, no clout, nothing.

2600 days ago
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