Gina Rodriguez Apologizes for Singing the N-Word on Instagram
Gina Rodriguez apologized after facing backlash for an Instagram video in which she used the n-word while singing along to the Fugees song “Ready or Not.” Following widespread criticism on social media, the 35-year-old actress of Puerto Rican descent first issued an apology via Instagram. “Hey, what's up everybody — I just wanted to reach out and apologize,” she said in a video posted to her Stories. “I am sorry. I am sorry if I offended anyone by singing along to the Fugees, to a song I love, that I grew up on. I love Lauryn Hill. And um, I really am sorry if I offended you.”
She then followed up with a written statement, also posted on Instagram. “In song or in real life, the words that I spoke should not have been spoken,” she wrote. “I grew up loving the Fugees and Lauryn Hill. I thoughtlessly sang along to the lyrics of a favorite song, and even worse, I posted it. The word I sang carries with it a legacy of hurt and pain that I cannot even imagine. Whatever the consequences I face for my actions today, none will be more hurtful than the personal remorse I feel. Watching my own video playing back at me has shaken me to my core. It is humiliating that this has to be a public lesson, but it is indeed a much deserved lesson. I feel so deeply protective and responsible to the community of color, but I have let this community down. I have some serious learning and growing to do, and I am so deeply sorry for the pain I have caused.”
This is not the first time Rodriguez has faced backlash for comments perceived as offensive. In 2018, she drew criticism for saying that Latina actresses are paid less than black and Asian women. “I get so petrified in this space talking about equal pay, especially when you look at the intersectional aspect of it, right?” she said. “Where white women get paid more than black women, black women get paid more than Asian women, Asian women get paid more than Latina women, and it's like a very scary space to step into.” As her critics noted, the highest paid TV actress in the world last year was Sofía Vergara, a Latina.
Rodriguez addressed that controversy in an interview on Sway in the Morning, saying she wasn't talking about how much actresses got paid, but women in general. “The backlash was devastating to say the least because the black community was the only community I looked toward growing up,” she said then. “We didn't have many Latino shows and the black community made me feel like I was seen. So to get ‘I'm anti-black' is saying that I'm anti-family. My father is dark-skinned, he's Afro-Latino. It's in my blood. So that was really devastating to me.”