Don’t you hate it when one of your favorite hunks opens his mouth and says something boneheaded? Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa got in trubs this weekend when he made offensive comments about black hair. He was chatting with Guiliana Rancic on E! News about his new show, “Charlie’s Angels,” and she lobbed him a softball question about what he looks for in a woman. Mustafa then asked if she had taken a look at his hair, implying it looked bad, and how he wants someone to make him look better. Rancic then asked if he wanted a woman with “real hair” and he replied:
“Yes, it does have to be real hair. I want my kids to have nice hair so she better have good hair. Cause, I don’t know if you’ve checked my hair out lately. Aside from today it’s normally nice. Today it’s slightly nappy.”
“Good hair” refers to black hair that is not nappy and is considered “easier” to style; oftentimes it is flattened down by chemical-laden relaxers, which is jokingly called “creamy crack.” In his 2009 documentary “Good Hair,” the comic Chris Rock examined the beauty culture that causes black women to wear weaves or sit for hours in chemical-laden relaxers — anything but wear their hair in its natural form. Rock famously decided to make the documentary after one of his young daughters asked him if she had good hair.
But “white beauty standards” are still a long way from fading. That was proved his summer, when Psychology Today published an article by anthropologist Satoshi Kanazawa arguing that black women are ugly. (The magazine later fired him.)
Isaiah Mustafah’s comments — while self-deprecating to his own “slightly nappy” hair — were offensive to black women and anyone else without “good” hair. Fortunately, Mustafa was quick to apologize to anyone he offended. In an interview with blogger Abiola Abrams, he said he made a “really irresponsible comment”:
“In no way was I trying to state that I think more women should have good hair, in that sense, in the way that most African Americans understand it, he said. It was a poor choice of words, a very irresponsible thing to say on my part. That was not my intention at all.”
Mustafa also took to Twitter to apologize, tweeting: “I want 2 apologize wholeheartedly 2 anyone out there who was offended or hurt by the irresponsible comment I made on E! News. #ignorant.”
I think Mustafa’s apology sounds genuine. If you listen to the audio of his interview on Abrams’ show, the guy sincerely sounds embarrassed. He mentioned that he has five sisters, a mother and a daughter and he’s heard from almost all of them about his “ignorant” comments. I also give Abiola Abrams for laying into him for his boneheaded comments, but doing it in a classy and respectful way.
Are you satisfied with Isaiah Mustafa’s apology? Let us know in the comments.