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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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I take both side. first Al Sharpton just stood up for women all over. women should not be critized by what they wear. Beyonce is not her clothes, hair, or her skin. Critize her on her personality and her charcter and then you can say whatever you want to. second tmz., it just makes no sense to call an outfit a roboho?? but at the same time, you do have the right to free speech and you are there for entertainment. I know that your comments are far from racism. I think and Pray that racism is a thing of the past. I believe that we all should just let this go because it makes absolutely no sense fighting over something or someone when she could care less about it. thankyou for reading.

2659 days ago


Good old al sharpton.YOU MAKE ME VOMIT , you racist ho

2659 days ago


I thought RoboHo was funny-not at all racist. 'Ho' is not a race-specific word. I have personally referred to people of all races and both sexes as a 'ho' at one time or another. It has more to do with the appearance of being sexually promiscuous than being of a certain race. Al should focus on things like the brutal attack of that mother and son, rather than trying to play a race card on an innocuous joke (albeit-a joke in bad taste.)

Besides, that is the worst outfit I've seen in a while. Would 'RoboWhore' be in better taste??

I don't see Al throwing a fit when Latin women are referred to as 'spicy.' Isn't that racist in and of itself? Only paying attention to the perceived 'insults' (using this term loosely) hurled at one race, but turning a blind eye to all others?? Why not boycott black comedians when they use the term 'cracker?' That's racist.

How is 'Black Power' any less racist than 'White Power' or 'Brown Pride'??

2659 days ago

Marty Gagen    

Al, when you and the other J---A-- qpologize I will consider not using the HO anymore

2659 days ago


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 in the Black community were thinking

2659 days ago


You know there was and still a time where we in the black community did not have a public voice of any kind. and it was the all sharptons and Jessie Jacksons who marched and fought for us to be heard and if you have never been in that struggle then how dare you speak on someone who has been our mouthpeice for so long. Whether you always agree with him or not, Women have the RIGHT not to be called a ho, white or black, he didint just say Black women, but after all the HO business going around lately they yes you would expect people in this business to be more respectful of that, and use better taste in judgement and charachter, it sounds as if they are adding fuel to the fire for a joke and people have the right to feel like its not funny!

When you get in ur next battle, you will want a AL or somebody to fight for you

2659 days ago


Excuse me, but what is Al Sharpton's actual job??? Does he just wait for something to be said that he can label to keep his name in the news? Get a life Al, and I dont mean keep stealing the life from others. You media Ho

2659 days ago


This is so ridiculious.... The word "Ho" so what ... Beyonce to him is a role model... What about how she's dressed and the booty licious comments.... She is no role model for my daughters. I wouldn't allow them to shake their bodies and wear such clothing. So to me it starts in the appearance. If you do not want to be called a "Ho" then please young people do not dress like one. Showing alot of skin can have you misjudged as being a "Ho"! So leave some things to the imagination. Just a word from a old schooler.

2659 days ago

C. White    

TMZ's use of the term "Roboho" is a ragged attempt to begin to exonerate the lowlife "Imus" and to begin the argument to bring that piece of garbage back onto the air. So TMZ uses the weak excuse of "humor" in referring to a black woman's costume with the word "ho." If TMZ is allowed to get away with this abominable excuse of using the word to describe a costume, then Imus can say that he used the "ho" derivative of "whore" to describe the hairstyle of the Rutgers women and not the women themselves.

What a pathetic and cheap trick for TMZ to try to pull.

And how grateful many of us are to have Al Sharpton as our watchdog. He is a hero to me and to those of us who recall how he has worked so hard to show the lack of equality in the way that blacks and whites are treated in America. To those who call themselves African Americans and who do not see Al Sharpton's value to all of America, then I feel very sorry for you. You do not know on whose shoulders you stand.

I guess there really is a difference in the way that southern black Americans and those with roots in other black countries see things. And especially how those black Americans who came to this country since the 1980s experience life in America. It is a lot different than the way that black Americans experienced this country before 1964.

And Isn't it strange how other ethnic groups are allowed to call out charges of "antis,,,,,,," when any reference is made to their race but when blacks complain there is always a charge of "whining."

2659 days ago


What's the difference? You degrade the outfit, you might as well be degrading the person wearing it. It soesn't matter what color you are, even Britney doesn't deserve all the degrading remarks being said about her. Admittedly, the young woman has some issues, but making fun of her isn't helping her. And as for Beyonce, she wore the outfit as part of her performance, it's not like she's walking around on the street with it on. Give the young woman a break, if you degrade her outfit, what's next? Some people don't have anything better to do with their time and anyone who feeds into that kind of thing must be in the same boat.

2659 days ago


Hey Al The real HO...
Get a life.....on another planet.
MSNBC....Don't let Al the HO, dictate 2 u what u can put on the air. Bring
back Imus

2659 days ago

Santa Claus    

Does this mean I can't say "Ho Ho Ho" anymore?

2659 days ago


Whether or not these word's should or should not be used? Who care's! The worst part of this whole thing is DUMBASS Sharpton getting envolved. This guy is a hump. Black people everywhere need to boycott this idiot. If you are black and Al Sharpton want's to come to your rescue, tell him to pound sand and go away. This moron has brought the black race to a stand still. Black people will never progress with leadership like this clown. This guy doe's more harm than good. He doe's not want thing's to get better for black people. If thing's got better Al would be out of work. Saying cruel thing's about Beyonce is not too cool. I think she can defend herself. Al need's to clean his own house before he tries to clean everybody else's. Believe me this guy is bad new's. I'm all for getting rid of the H,N,and B word's. I would love to go at least a day with out hearing that ignorant filth coming out of peoples mouth's. And I mean everyone's mouth, BLACK OR WHITE. I don't want to hear it from RAPPER'S OR REDNECK'S. And if you think about it rapper's and redneck's are just like twin's of different color's. And both of them are totally worthless. They both have zero to add to the world! No brain's no headache's.

2659 days ago


i dont know about anyone else, but I think beyonce looked great on the award show. Instead of looking at her outfit, look at the whole performance. She was on-point and entertaining, which is more than I can say for many artist out there right now. She is a role model that shows class and elegance consistantly. Its not like she didn't have any clothes on period. Come on, her family and her husband was in the audience. So really, should it be considered a "ho" -- or is TMZ just trying to be edgy and conversal? Maybe Al Sharpton did go a little far, with protesting and everything -- but he does have the right to do it so let him... its nothing new anyways. I think should not be surprised that people are reacting from such a comment because it was a hurtful comment that was unneccessary. Instead of defending the rude comment made, they should humble themselves and apologize.

2659 days ago


for some reason my post aint showed up.

can al sharpton go away,da man is embarrasin da black community(dun start on my typin).al sharpton uses da race card in everythin(i would use some examples but i dun know how da rest of da people would react).besides y does al sharpton now start talkin bout da n word(which i use) and da word ho,y wasnt he dere in da beginin to stop it,and now its to late cuz now a whole generation already usin da word.

and kesha,i bet u got dem lil wayne and 50 cent songs on ur iPod and u probably watchin "the Boondocks" too u do i kno,i got da same things too

2659 days ago
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