Kathryn Dennis Apologizes for Using Racially Insensitive Emoji: 'I Know and Will Do Better'

"I did not give it thought, and it was and is wrong," Kathryn Dennis wrote on Twitter

Kathryn Dennis
Kathryn Dennis. Photo: twitter

Kathryn Dennis has issued an apology for using a racially insensitive emoji when talking to black radio show host Tamika Gadsden.

"I want to acknowledge that using a monkey emoji in my text was offensive, and from the bottom of my heart I sincerely apologize to anyone and everyone I hurt. Although the context was not my intention, there are no 'ifs ands or buts' that excuse me," the Southern Charm star, 28, wrote on Twitter.

"I did not give it thought, and it was and is wrong. I know I am not that person. I know and will do better," Dennis continued.

The incident unfolded on Sunday when Gadsden called out Charleston boutique owner Katie Shields for announcing the organization of a Donald Trump rally with her friends.

"In Charleston you learn, fairly quickly, that the face of the White Supremacy resembles that of the boutique-owning, gatekeeping glitterati. This is Katie Shields, owner of Mylk Bar in Mt. Pleasant. She's organizing a Nautical MAGA rally with her friends. Katie is reprehensible," Gadsden tweeted alongside a photo of Shields in a message she seemingly posted to her Instagram Stories, sharing information about the upcoming "Trump Boat Parade" on May 23.

In response to Gadsden's tweet, condemning Shields' event, the radio host said Dennis began to "taunt" her on Instagram by sending her a number of direct messages.

"Grow a pair," Dennis told Gadsden. "You're an L 7 weeeeenieeeee. That's how serious I take this," Dennis continued, adding a monkey emoji.

While Dennis said she meant nothing by it, the use of the emoji is offensive as black people have often been compared to monkeys in attempt to dehumanize them or compare them to savages, according to a study on negative racial stereotypes, published by Ferris State University.

"This is what happens when a black woman in #Charleston speaks up against white supremacy in the form of MAGA rallies. My comments re: Mylk Bar prompted this @BravoTV "actor" @KathrynDennis to taunt me with monkey emojis in my DMS. Along with a whole host of other names," Gadsden wrote alongside a screen grab of her Instagram exchange with Dennis.

Shields did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Gadsden shared additional screen grabs, which show Dennis continuing the conversation.

"I guess I didn't give her the response she wanted," Gadsden captioned a tweet that shows Dennis saying, "Why are you calling us 'white people?' that is so racist.' " and "Ha dude u are crazy" as well as "Dude yalls behavior is not okay you are legit harassing her right now how do u not see ur hypocrisy?"

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