Raven-Symoné explains why she declined Disney's offer to make Raven Baxter a lesbian

Raven-Symoné explains why she declined Disney's offer to make Raven Baxter a lesbian

Although Raven-Symoné and her iconic Disney character, Raven Baxter, may have a lot in common — like sharing a face and a wicked sense of humor — the actress has made a clear distinction between her on-screen persona and off-screen life.

When the Raven's Home actress reprised her role for the Disney spinoff in 2017, it had been four years after she publicly came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. During a recent episode of the Pride podcast, when host Levi Chambers asked Raven if she ever thought that the character could be part of the LGBTQ+ community, the actress revealed that the network offered her the opportunity to do so for the sequel series.

"You know what, there was a conversation before the series started and I was asked the question, 'Would you like Raven Baxter to be a lesbian?' And I said, no. I said no," she shared.

The actress played Raven Baxter on That's So Raven from 2003 to 2007 and explained that she wanted to stay true to the character, who was straight in the original series.

"The reason I said, no, wasn't because I wasn't proud of who I was, or I didn't want to represent the LGBTQ+ community in any way," she continued. "It was because Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter. There was no reason for me to change the human that she was in order to fit the actress that played her. And Raven Baxter is a character that I was proud to play. Even if she is straight, cisgender, I don't mind, let her have her moment."

Raven also explained that it would be harder for her as an actress if she started "blending" her real life with her character's story. "Like, I'm stereotyped for the rest of my life — let's just keep it 100," she added. "If you ever see me in another character, you see Raven Baxter and that's just what the deal is. And I think the one thing that differentiates me from her is now a lot more."

When Raven and wife Miranda Pearman-Maday, who recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary, spoke with ET in May, the actress reacted to speculation that the Disney spinoff was canceled.

"I cannot tell you the status of Raven's Home because I don't know it myself," Raven told ET. "I hope that people go back and watch the series and write in, tweet, post what they would like because ultimately we are here for the fans. We are here to entertain those. And do I love my cast? Yes. Do I want to work with them for as long as I can? Of course. Is it my decision? No, that's Disney Channel's decision. So wait for it. Make noise, stomp your feet, do what you can and see what happens."

"If I knew exactly whether it's done, whether it's not, I would tell you," she noted. "But as of right now, there is no set answer for you."

See more of ET's conversation with Raven and Miranda in the video below.

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