Actress Gina Rodriguez has apologized for using the N-word while singing along to “Ready or Not,” a song by The Fugees, in a now-deleted video on Instagram on Tuesday.
“I am sorry if I offended anyone by singing The Fugees, to a song that I love, that I grew up on,” Rodriguez said in a subsequent video on her Instagram stories. “I love Lauryn Hill. I really am sorry if I offended anyone.”
And later Tuesday, the actress posted another statement expressing regret.
"The word I sang, carries with it a legacy of hurt and pain that I cannot even imagine,” she said in the statement, which was posted on Instagram.
“Watching my own video played back at me, has shaken me to my core,” the statement said.
“I have some serious learning and growing to do and I am so deeply sorry for the pain I have caused,” she wrote.
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A flood of Twitter criticism followed Rodriguez’s initial video and apology.
“Love to end latinx heritage month with gina rodriguez saying the n-word,” poet Melissa Lozada-Oliva wrote on Twitter.
“Gina Rodriguez is an example of the bold anti-blackness of non-black people of colour. Black people keep telling ya'll not to use our reclaimed slurs, & here you go on your IG story mouthing along to a song saying ‘n-----,’ playing all in our faces,” writer Kinsey Clarke tweeted. “Ugly, racist, & disrespectful.”
“Somebody please get gina rodriguez a hobby, literally any hobby i am begging,” Hannah Giorgis, a staff writer at The Atlantic, wrote.
Rodriguez, who is Puerto Rican, has touted her efforts to expand opportunities for people of color. In 2017, she created her own production company, "I Can and I Will" to promote underrepresented communities off and on camera.
But the actress has been at the center of criticism over previous comments that have been pointed out as anti-black or insensitive to the black community.
When “Black Panther” was announced in 2017, Rodriguez asked for a Latino-centered superhero movie, prompting some to question whether she was diminishing the feat of the film’s black-centered casting.
Rodriguez was also accused of erasing black women during an interview about her movie “Small Foot.” After GlobalGrind’s senior entertainment editor Xilla “Blogxilla” Valentine called Rodriguez’s co-star Yara Shahidi “goals for so many young, Black women,” Rodriguez interrupted him to say “for so many women.” Some interpreted her interjection as discrediting a black actress’ accomplishments.
More recently, Rodriguez faced backlash for her comments about Latinas being paid less than actresses of other races during a Net-a-Porter television panel.
Rodriguez has vehemently denied the criticisms, addressing them for the first time in an interview on Sirius XM ‘Sway’s Universe’ last January.
“Growing up, we didn’t have many Latino shows and the black community made me feel like I was being seen, so to get anti-black is saying that I’m anti-family,” Rodriguez said.
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