Gina Rodriguez Apologizes for Singing N-Word Lyric in Instagram Video

The actress sparked outrage online by posting a video of herself singing one of Lauryn Hill's verses from "Ready or Not" by the Fugees

Gina Rodriguez
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Gina Rodriguez has issued an apology for using the N-word in a video posted on her Instagram Story.

On Tuesday, the Jane the Virgin actress posted a video of herself getting her hair and makeup done while singing along to one of Lauryn Hill‘s verses from “Ready or Not” by the Fugees, promptly sparking outrage online.

Rodriguez, 35, has since deleted the video and posted another video of herself apologizing on her Instagram Stories.

“Hey, what’s up everybody — I just wanted to reach out and apologize,” she said. “I am sorry. I am sorry if I offended anyone by singing along to the Fugees, to a song that I love, that I grew up on. I love Lauryn Hill. And I really am sorry if I offended you.”

The actress later issued a more in-depth apology on her Instagram, calling the incident “humiliating” and said rewatching the video “has shaken me to my core.”

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“In song or in real life, the words that I spoke, should not have been spoken,” Rodriguez said. “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 consequences I face for my actions today, none will be more hurtful than the personal remorse I feel,” she continued. “It is humiliating that this has to be a public lesson but it is indeed a much-deserved lesson.”

Rodriguez finished her note by explaining how she felt terrible for disappointing the “community of color.”

“I feel so deeply protective and responsible to the community of color but I have let this community down,” she wrote. “I have some serious learning and growing to do and I am so deeply sorry for the pain I have caused.”

Many on Twitter were furious over her usage of the word, resurfacing controversial remarks the actress made during a panel with Ellen Pompeo, Gabrielle Union and Emma Roberts for NET-A-PORTER in 2018.

“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,” she said at the time.

Rodriguez’s comments sparked outrage from members of the black community, who pointed out that in 2018, the highest paid TV actress in the world was Sofia Vergara, a Latina actress from Colombia.

Rodriguez also faced backlash in 2017 after Black Panther was announced, when she tweeted, “Marvel and DC are killing it in inclusion and women but where are the Latinos?! Asking for a friend…”

Many online took issue with her for overlooking what Black Panther represented to the African-American community. Fans also pointed out that the Marvel Cinematic Universe does include Afro-Latina actresses like Tessa Thompson and Zoe Saldana.

“Black women BEEN telling y’all Gina Rodriguez was an anti-Black problem,” journalist Ernest Owens tweeted on Tuesday. “Shouldn’t have taken her to say the n-word before y’all woke up. But go off.”

“Can’t wait for mrs gina rodriguez to break down into fake tears when she gets interviewed about this,” another Twitter user wrote, referring to Rodriguez’s emotional interview on Sway in the Morning‘s SiriusXM show earlier this year, in which she addressed the backlash for the first time.

Others took issue with Rodriguez’s apology.

“gina rodriguez posting a half ass apology but who’s surprised?” tweeted one person.

“what kind of whack apology … gina rodriguez said don’t worry guys I have the pass because i grew up on lauryn hill,” said another.

“gina rodriguez really thinks she’s something with her sarcasm that was supposed to be an apology smh,” added another.

On Sway in the Morning, Rodriguez clarified her 2018 remarks, insisting, “I never said actresses, I wasn’t speaking about my industry.”

“I always find it difficult to talk about equal pay as a woman who makes a substantial amount of money,” she said. “As somebody who came from poverty to now the amount of money I get paid, it doesn’t feel right that I’m the one talking about it, because I’m so damn grateful. What I was saying, was that when we talk about equal pay, we have to talk about intersectionality because we all must rise.”

Tearing up, Rodriguez continued, “The backlash was devastating to say the least because … because the black community was the only community I looked towards growing up. 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.”

“It was a really dark time for me. It made me get away from social media because my mental health is much more important to me,” she added. “Especially when I know my intention. The last thing I want to do is put two under-represented groups against each other. Our unification is what is our rise. Our unification is what’s going to allow both of our communities to continue to flourish.”

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Rodriguez went on to point out how her production company, I Can I Will, fights for all minorities and said she hopes people will understand what she meant.

“I felt their pain and I will always apologize from the bottom of my heart if I cause pain on anyone cause that is not who I am. But that felt really far left-field for me, real out of context, and I just didn’t know how to control that,” she said.

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