in ,

Gina Rodriguez Issues Second Apology For Singing Racial Slur In Instagram Video After First Apology Is Criticized For Being ‘Weak’

JC Olivera/Getty Images

Actress Gina Rodriguez is learning the hard way that using the most offensive racial slur aimed at black people is unacceptable, regardless of context.

On Tuesday, the star of CW’s recently concluded Jane the Virgin series was castigated for her use of the N-word on her Instagram Story while singing the lyrics to the Fugees track, “Ready or Not.”

The 35-year-old vocalized the lyrics from the 1996 track, which includes:

“voodoo / I can do what you do, easy, believe me / Fronting n***as give me hee-bee-gee-bees.”

The public was unforgiving.

After receiving swift backlash for her post, Rodriguez—who is of Puerto Rican descent—removed the video and apologized.

Sort of.

“I am sorry if I offended anyone by singing along to The Fugees, to a song I love that I grew up on.”

But her statement did not resonate with the public since it lacked genuine remorse.

People interpreted her half-hearted apology as “weak” and “patronizing.”

In response to the comments pointing out her insincerity, Rodriguez posted another apology and admitted she has “let this community down” and that she has “serious learning and growing to do.”

Her full statement reads:

“In song or in real life, the words that I spoke should not have been spoken. 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 imagine.”

“Whatever 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.”

But her latest apology fared no better than the first and seemingly made things worse.

Those who remain unconvinced gave credit to her public relations rep for her second attempt at damage control.

While others thought the apologies were a moot point.

The actress was slammed online late last year and called “anti-black” for her comments about pay equality.

In November, she told Porter Edit during a roundtable discussion:

“I get so petrified in this space talking about equal pay especially when you look at the intersectional aspect of it, right?”

“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.”

Rodriguez was additionally criticized for her impassive praise for women and inclusion in Marvel’s  Black Panther.

Instead of celebrating the importance of the film’s role in Black representation, Rodriguez asked in the now-deleted tweet:

 “but where are the Latinos?! Asking for a friend…”

Regarding the use of the racial slur, Gene Denby—the lead blogger for NPR‘s Code Switch team—said the conversation about who can say the ugly word and when, is complicated.

Denby wrote that there are no rules:

“There are only contexts and consequences.”

“When nonblack folks ask why they can’t say it but black people can, the question misses the point. Anyone can say it — but that doesn’t mean there won’t be fallout for doing so.”

Right now, Rodriguez is facing the consequences of her actions and admits to having lots to learn in her second apology.

Well, it’s a good start.

The book The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t, and Why is available here.

Have you listened to the first season of George Takei’s podcast, ‘Oh Myyy Pod!‘?

In season one we explored the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
We’re hard at work on season two so be sure to subscribe here so you don’t miss it when it goes live.

Here’s one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!


Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a New York-based actor and writer. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, he received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese. Disney parks are his passion, and endless cups of coffee are a necessity. Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1