Sheryl Underwood’s Controversial Comments About Natural Hair

Sheryl Underwood twitter commentsYou know what let’s go with that, let us talk about jokes just for a minute. I am not in the business of comparing one negative or disparaging event to another, but just the other day Russell Simmons along with some other popular YouTubers thought it would be funny to create a video, correction a ‘sex tape’ of Harriet Tubman, getting it from behind by her white Massa.

He took a historical figure, a woman born into slavery and who was beaten repeatedly, her head bashed in by a white slave owner on one occasion and made her a common whore on a sex tape.

Call me old fashion but I do not find sex tapes generally funny, and I have no idea how someone with even two brain cells could create such a video in the name of comedic expression.

I must mention though the irony of how Harriet explained her survival the day she was hit by the slave owner, she explained that she believed her hair saved her life she said “It had never been combed and stood out like a bushel basket” protecting her skull.

Not to worry though just like Sheryl’s comments it was a just a joke! Russell Simmons has since removed the video and apologized for his lack of sensitivity.

I can’t say that I am totally surprised at Sheryl though. Well known as the funniest woman on Improv, she is blunt, pushes the envelope on topics like sex, politics, and race.

She makes jokes about ugly black people all the time and until now we haven’t really heard about her being under the gun about her opinions. We can always use the excuse that there is a time and place for everything, because maybe we might chuckle at the fact that she just compared our face to that of a monkey or a jackass under the influence of some vodka and or perhaps the special smoke in the air at a comedy club.

You might even have gone as far as high fiving the TV in the comfort of your living room as she told the same joke on BET comic view late one night. The point is your value of common decency when it comes to insults might be a tad bit lower or higher depending on the setting you are in.

Sheryl is all grown up now, she has since left the dark comedy clubs filled with special smoke and drunken laughter. She has done well for herself, taken her act to even bigger stages and platforms and is now a permanent member of main stream day time media.

We have all grown up too; we no longer think calling each other ‘nigger’ is cute despite what Jay Z told Oprah. We are working tirelessly day and night to show our little girls that the hair that naturally grows from their scalps is not ugly or hard to care for but just as fabulous as anyone else’s hair.

About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.


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  1. Tea

    What the heck was Sheryl thinking??? First off, she is not even funny in my opinion. I do not know why she would make these awful and disparaging remarks. It sounds a lot like self hatred to me. I am sure the real hair she is sporting under those ridiculous wigs is coarse and afro like just like a lot of people of color and soooo what!!! Was this said for laughs?? She could have found a better way. Her being a comedian doesn’t give her license to say bull s like this. Think lady. You were not funny but damned foolish for sure. Love yourself and your hair. Try wearing it. I think anything would be better than those wiggy wigs. You’re knocking afro hair but sporting those insane and most unbecoming wrecks on your head. They do not add to your looks at all. Try your own, it MIGHT add a lil something.

  2. amber

    cheryl is definitely self hating. I’ve seen her perform before and she definitely has issues being a dark skinned African American female and just be glad in general. I definitely think it was inappropriate for the audience but I definitely think a lot of black people think that too, especially older black people. I could see my mother laughing at that joke. All the women on her side of family have criticized and haggled me for my natural hair. when I started transitioning they said that my husband would run for the hills if he has to deal with all that nappy stress , my husband is not black, fyi. Another one of thier reasonings. We’re still married by the way lol. That attitude is rampant in our community and needs to really be addressed. So I think it’s kind of unfair to blame and shame Cheryl for having an opinion that a lot of black people have. I’d rather her to keep making a certain sector of the black community laugh and have an internal change in her peception of her blackness than simply make a meaningless public apology and maintain her beliefs. she seems like a deeply sad an insecure person and I will pray for her to find happiness and peace with her reflection in the mirror.

  3. Riff Spencer
    Riff Spencer

    I think Heidi is smart–natural hair is becoming more popular, I definitely can see women rocking more natural looking weaves

  4. Krisha DeShawn
    Krisha DeShawn

    What can you expect from a woman that wears wigs daily? Annnnnnd, it was a joke. I joke about my natural hair all the time, but its what God gave me so I have no problems wearing my natural hair.

  5. Thick Nette
    Thick Nette

    While I don’t agree it’s her right to feel any way she wants about her hair. We have so many more important issues to worry about in our black culture that hair should be the least of our worries! I wish people felt as strong about black on black crime as they do about hair!

  6. Shanae Monique
    Shanae Monique

    I felt some kind of way about this. Especially as a person who just started transitioning a few months ago. But it didn’t make me wanna change my mind about growing out my natural beautiful hair. I feel like what she said was ignorant and made her look ridiculously stupid because she herself is of African American descent. Then says she’s sorry for offending people but not sorry for what she said. Girl u can keep that apology then.

  7. Wanda Durant
    Wanda Durant

    Well my take everyone has there own thoughts it doesn’t go for every one..I also keep my son’s hair & don’t cut my girls split ends my children aren’t mixed nut have beautiful hair..I embrace all hair types.. after all she only wear wigs so to each its own

  8. Corie Jay
    Corie Jay

    I’m confused by her comment because she’s pulled her wig off before to reveal what is under there. So if she’s truly ashamed of her natural hair would she have done that? Idk, I find ppl do and say things believing one has nothing to do with the other.

  9. Rebecca Tribeca Akrofie
    Rebecca Tribeca Akrofie

    mmm, I’m, pretty sure this story is elderly. Though I complete disagree with what she said. She can be happy wearing her hair pieces, but there’s no need to criticise others.

  10. Pamela Henderson
    Pamela Henderson

    I understand that she is well educated with Masters Degrees etc. How can anyone tell? Sometimes one’s ignorance hides one’s intelligence. Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  11. Sandra Harris-Holloway
    Sandra Harris-Holloway

    Lol… Opinions. Everybody has one, even idiots and @zzholes. She got exactly what she wanted..attention / hype / ratings. Don’t be mad. Sista trying to get paid by any means necessary. At the end of the day she has to be happy with herself.

  12. Maybell Lena Killion
    Maybell Lena Killion

    She was trying to get a laugh and she did it the wrong way. But y’all, we really need to let it go, look at Sheryl’s gums, just let her make it!!!

  13. Charlene Jeffers
    Charlene Jeffers

    Some of these insults are not any better either. Black as midnight, monkey, old dog. Wow. And no I’m not agreeing with what she said either.

  14. Raven Marie
    Raven Marie

    She’s probably endured some skin bullying as a child causing her to feel that way. It’s so sad, but she acted an ass.

  15. Allyson Parker
    Allyson Parker

    I dont like what she said either but more importantly why are SISTERS saying she looks like a monkey. Come on ladies. Black is beautiful and degrading her isnt helping us as BLACK WOMEN.

  16. Sonya Rice
    Sonya Rice

    I don’t agree at all with what she said but it is her right as an individual to feel that way. Plus we already know whats under those

  17. Raven Marie
    Raven Marie

    Just tweeted her….didn’t know it’s an old episode, doesn’t change what she said even though she issued an apology. Sad.

  18. Tayshann Creary
    Tayshann Creary

    Obviously her comments were made based off of her own insecurities about her hair. Not all black people feel that way. Black hair in beautiful. We have so many different shades of black and brown, different lengths, mixtures of curl patterns, densities and the abilities to do endless things with our natural hair. So please believe, we do embrace and “save our afro’s”.

  19. Victoria Mackie
    Victoria Mackie

    People are too sensitive. Its not like what she said, the opinion of one person you don’t even know, will change the value of your child’s fro hair and if it does than you need to do some assessment. If you laughed at the JOKE, great, if you didn’t like it, that’s fine too. Just move on.

  20. Shannon ByAny Means
    Shannon ByAny Means

    Sheryl Underwood is unattractive, so you have to imagine all the insecurities she grew up with and obviously still has. The assumption that all fros are nappy is ridiculous too.

  21. IlikeDonald Trumps
    IlikeDonald Trumps'Combover

    I hate when people say “it’s just a joke” when black women and their hair are ALWAYS the butt of every joke, the shit gets old and it’s not just a joke any more.

  22. Danielle DanDan Ross
    Danielle DanDan Ross

    Not saying what she said was right but funny some of yall are calling her ignorant or that she doesn’t embrace her blackness yet yall insult her looks by pointing out how “black” she is, she looks like a monkey or her gums…lol smh the same things “European beauty standards” would could consider unattractive right? Doesn’t sound like yall truly embrace “blackness” either lol. Grow up and get a clue!!

  23. Bernice P Nash
    Bernice P Nash

    I think she mad a distasteful joke. Shes a comedian what do u expect??? She is not aware of her own hair and her opinion is as such. Before I ditched the chemicals I thought my hair was “nappy” ignorance is bliss. I love my curls and maybe one day she will love hers

  24. Daiquiri A. Holland
    Daiquiri A. Holland

    Dude who cares, this story is super old. Not only that, this came out the mouth of a chick who look like Wesley Snipes in the face lol

  25. Nona Lori Brown Amoruso
    Nona Lori Brown Amoruso

    I don’t think people should call her names. She apologized. Now when white people say monkey or whatever people get upset. #notkool

  26. Merri Beth Rich
    Merri Beth Rich

    Look at her.. With her wig on … Lol…This isn’t the first stupid thing she’s said, won’t be the last,

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