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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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31.

Howstone    

OK, quick question: When has "Reverend" $harpton ever done anything to improve race relations? Or to go along with his reported goals, do anything to improve anything for black people? 'Cause right now, I can't think of anything.

TMZ should not have to apologize for this perceived slight (and I don't think was even a little bit racist) until $harpton apologizes to Steven Pagones for falsely accusing him of rape, and then apologizes for every anti-white (the "white interlopers" who owned businesses in Harlem and hired blacks, until he ran them out of the area), anti-Semetic, or anti-American comment he's made. And that could take some time. Until then, he should just crawl back under the bottom of whatever barrel you usually find this kind of slime.

2630 days ago
32.

bob hope    

Mr. Sharpton is a hypocritical moron, how can he think that every time someone says something critical of a black person they are racist? Never do you see him assault black people in the media that do likewise. He is on a lower level than the people he criticizes, because he creates racism where there isn't any.

2630 days ago
33.

JohnnyJ    

Another "low hanging fruit" issue for Al. Is Jesse far behind? We've got a whole lot more problems, (drugs, prison, poor education, sexual promiscuity, fatherlessness (root cause) in our community and we spend this kind of time on some word that doesn't mean anything. When is my man Al going to realize you've been baited again. TMZ should thank you for the free publicity.

2630 days ago
34.

Timmy Von Tapper    

Rev. Al Sharpton needs to keep the yapper quiet for a change. Anyone could've been called a " Ho ". AND he will only defend BLacks; so when he starts defending all races not jus blacks,..he'll have a valid point that will hold weight. Al jus say no to Yapper.

2630 days ago
35.

I've heard enough    

What about this statement - "It is intolerable to think that TMZ.com would find humor in calling (insert name of any white female celebrity) who symbolizes the strength, dignity and uplifting of White women a Roboho" ..... it's funny when the tables are turned, isn't it? Statements that people of color can make with outrage towards whites are suddenly racist when whites try making the exact same statement from the white point of view. Our daily city newspaper has a special "paper within a paper" every week, dedicated exclusively to the interests of people of color in our city. If the paper suddenly started having the same thing, dedicated exclusively to the interest of the white sector in our city, it would be racist. Our University have a Black Students' Union. What in the world would happen if there was a White Students' union???? And as far as this ridiculous "burying of the N-word" (what a joke), I have heard people of color call each other n------ more in 5 minutes than I have ever heard whites refer to people of color by the same name in my entire life. I think there is a very verbal sector of Blacks that want it both ways, while screaming discrimination all the way. It's ridiculous.

2630 days ago
36.

Kesha    

I have nothing but the utmost respect for Al Sharpton and I agree with his position, but it is more important that Beyonce speak out against TMZ and their comments. If she doesn't defend herself as a beautiful woman and certainly not a ho, then TMZ will continue to justify their comments as funny.

Beyonce is a dynamic artist and she deserves to be respected as such!

2630 days ago
37.

obbl    

If "ho" was used in the context Sharpton suggests, then the least TMZ can do is formally apologize.
However, if "ho" was used as TMZ says, to describe their opinion concerning of the Beyonce's choice of fashion, then I see no reason for an apology.
However, It would be a good idea for TMZ and others in a simlar position to choose their words more carefully.

2630 days ago
38.

Harryg    

Hey, does anyone but me remember the Tawana Brawley fiasco that put this moron Sharpton on the map?? Does anyone but me remember the comment amongst the two attorneys and Al "This case is gonna make us the biggest 'N's on the block" The two attorneys were disbarred, but this moron continue to get press time??? The man is a moron, an agitator, a hypocrite and should be censured by the media and the press. I was in Wappinger Falls New York for this mans waste of time. He degrades blacks more than any KKK racist remark EVER could. His very presence and any credibility given to any words spoken from his foul and milipulating mouth are an affront to ANYONE, black or white, with an I.Q. larger than a potato spud.

2630 days ago
39.

Josh    

Al Sharpton is the biggest racist I have ever seen. His perpetual ability to take anything that he pleases and turn it into an issue of race never astonishes me. What kind of lemmings follow such a parasite as Reverend Sharpton. I'm white and I'm proud of it Mr. Sharpton, but that doesn't make every word out of my mouth a racist one. I think I'll compare you to Hitler in the sense that everything must be about your race. If I ever saw you so interested in human rights that you defended anyone of another nationality I would grow a smidgen of respect for you. But, alas, you might as well be wearing the uniform of the KKK. After all, you're promoting the same hate mongering, simple minded nonsense that they do.

2630 days ago
40.

FRANK    

ONCE AGAIN "REV. " SHARPTON IS CRYING "RACISM"....SHARPTON IS "SUPPOSE" TO BE A MAN OF GOD...??? IF HE IS SO CONCERNED WITH RACISM IN OUR COUNTRY, WHY DOESN`T (RAIL AGAINST) THE BLACK COMMUNITY (ESPECIALLY RAPPERS) THAT "PROFIT" FROM USING THE "N" WORD !!!! NOT TO MENTION (HOW OFTEN) WOMEN (IN RAP LYRICS) ARE DEPICTED AS "HO`S" !!! AL SHARPTON LIVES BY A DOUBLE STANDARD...IT`S OK FOR THOSE IN THE BLACK (ESPECIALLY IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY) TO MAKE BLANTANT RACIAL STATEMENTS/COMMENTS (AND FINANCIALLY BENIFIT) FROM THOSE STATEMENTS,BECAUSE I HAVE (YET) TO HEAR "REV." SHARPTON SAY (ONE WORD) AGAINST (SAID COMMENTS). I (LIKE MOST OF THOSE IN OUR COUNTRY) LIKE TO LAUGH MYSELF/MY RACE...IN FACT RICHARD PRYOR WAS MY (FAVORITE) COMIC....BECAUSE HE (MADE FUN) OF EVERYONE, FROM EVERY WALK OF LIFE....MY POINT IS EITHER "NO ONE COMMENTS/MAKES FUN OF/OR PROFITS " FROM MAKING RACIAL STATEMENTS OF ANY KIND !!! EITHER IT`S ALL OR NOTHING...YOU CAN`T HAVE OT BOTH WAYS.... SO SHARPTON, IF YOU WANT TO STOP "ALL" RACIAL STATEMENTS/COMMENTS.....START IN YOUR OWN COMMUNITY.....BEGINNING WITH YOURSELF !!!!

2630 days ago
41.

Penelope    

I agree with Maureen. If someone wants respect, act respectful. Usually, if you dress like a ho, you are a ho. What happened to dressing classy to get attention. Stars are getting sleazier and sleazier in the way they dress and their actions.

2630 days ago
42.

JR    

Sharpton is everything that he accuses racists of being. He charges in, slinging accusations without proof, shouting about racism, and then slinks away when it's proven that he was on the wrong side, once again. Tawana Bradley was "HIS" girl, and see what happened. Then, the Duke team, and again, no excuse me, no apology, just a quick fade.

What's worse is that, in spite of these amateurish stunts, black people still believe in him. He's a parody of a hero.

Before anyone worries about Imus, how about the rap stars and their spewing of violence and hatred, even using the same words, and worse. Where's Rev. Al and the black community on that? Before you start telling people what can and can't be said, clean up your own back yard of the exact same words, with the exact same meaning.

2630 days ago
43.

Dreolin    

I am tired of people thinking that it is ok to use offensive racial/sexist and otherwish hateful words as long as they call it humor. And I am also tired of the media's use of stupid puns and play on words while we're at it. Most of them aren't even clever, much less funny. Hmmm, let's see her outfit looks like a robot, and it's on the skimpy side... Eureka! Roboho! Yeah, that's funny...to a twelve year old.

2630 days ago
44.

Brian    

Now that Al and Jessie and the NAACP and the Rainbow Collision have solved all the REAL problems in the black community (rampant poverty, drugs, who's the baby's daddy, etc) they can deal with the problems like this. GOOD JOB AL!!!

2630 days ago
45.

AA    

Any REAL woman would feel disrespected being called out of her name. This should not be tolerated by anyone. White or Black. Al Sharpton is just the only one who has stood up to do something about it. We need more people like him. The Black community should honor him for what he stands for.
Racism will never end, but everyone will have to answer come judgment day.

2630 days ago
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