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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

No Avatar
61.

eric    

Al is the biggest racist there is, there are soo many great black role models why are people even listening to him.

2631 days ago
62.

Elvira Jefferson-Clegg    

I really don't see why anyone should be upset, after all a hoe is a gardening tool.

2631 days ago
63.

david    

HO,HO,HO!!!!!

2631 days ago
64.

New York    

Two words for Al Sharpton..........Tawana Brawley !!!

2631 days ago
65.

Paul    

The Danger in the use of a word is that the more often it is heard and said and written the less thought people put in before they throw it out, It loses it's taboo. People start using it without thought about who they are offending. The term may be completely inaccurate and insulting when applied to a person, but you didn't think about it being insulting to that person before you used it, because you've heard it so often you forgot it was insulting. The word may be used about and toward your mother, your wife or daughter by someone who just didn't know any better and didn't care. The fact that people think of this word as appropriate for a joke is a good indication that this is already happened. The context is irrelevant, what matters is that it gets used at all.

2631 days ago
66.

byrdman73    

What we are witnessing is Big Al fighting for job security. The NAACP, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson all depend on the existence of racism. In the abesence of racism, there is no need for the likes of them. It is in Al Sharpton's best interests to perectuate racism rather than eliminate it.

TMZ's use of the word "HO" is a reflection of the black hiphop culture. They did not coin the term. If you want to eliminate the problem, go to the source. When BET, Mencia,3-6 mafia, and dave chappelle stop using the word, so will the rest of the media.

They way to take the power from an offensive word is to allow it to be used by everyone free of concequence. Imus used the HO word and paid the cost. Al sharpton reaped that and made a profit. Only when the word is worthless will we be free.

2631 days ago
67.

Kesha    

FYI... Al Sharpton has been in the forefront against "rappers" and their disgusting lyrics! Thank the media for controlling what you know and don't know about the man.

2631 days ago
68.

Royce Monks    

Thanks to FOX news analysts, Al Sharpton has become a spokesman for Black America. Isn't that a shame? Way to go FOX.

2631 days ago
69.

BILL    

THE GOOD REV. HAD A LOT TO SAY ABOUT THE DUKE PLAYERS WHEN THE STORY FIRST BROKE. BUT SINCE THE TRUTH HAS COME OUT HES BEEN REAL QUIET. HEY AL WHY DONT YOU SAY SOMETHING NOW YOU PHONEY. YOU AND JACKSON ARE HYPOCRITS.

2631 days ago
70.

helene    

Al Sharpten is the raciest I didnt even know what the hell HO meant other than HO HO HO MERRY CHRTISTMAS Now what will he make of that ???????????// someone should tall him to get after the rappers that insult everybody wonder how come they can get away with all they rap and he says nothing best he cleans up his own back yard before he blabs about everyone elses this guy has a problem I think which is GET IN THE HEADLINES ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN

2631 days ago
71.

Josh    

S.Jo, who are Al Sharptons supporters? They certainly aren't white, hispanic, or asian. I know it's hard to think of, but maybe everyone thinks of him as he spokesperson for the community is because the community of lemmings that follows him are African American. Like it or not, that's what you get until the man is shamed or passes on.

2631 days ago
72.

Fran    

Has TMZ ever used "ho" in reference to any outfit or action by Brittney, Madonna or Jessica? Beyonce has never acted in an unladylike manner in public unlike Lindsay Lohan or Brittney Spears; however TMZ found it necessary even with an abundance of words at their disposal they used the word "ho", to describe Beyonce. Their action was racist and Al Sharpton was just saying allowed what most people were thinking.

2631 days ago
73.

Z-Kyle    

Take that STUPID fake hair and make-up off of her and she'd look like Al Sharpton.

2631 days ago
74.

Rod    

AL!
You go get 'em! Attack EVERYONE. That's what you do --- ATTACK!
You Sir, ... are the BIGGEST RACIST of them all. Why are you such a publicity whore?
Ooops, ... I mean HO?

YOU SUCK

2631 days ago
75.

Deb    

Rev. Al Sharpton get a life!!!

2631 days ago
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