Erica Mena has apologized for calling one of her “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” castmates a racial slur, which led to Mena being fired from the reality TV show.
The “Assistant” and “Hush” actress released a statement about the incident on Tuesday, in which she repeatedly referred to Jamaican musician Spice as a “monkey” and mocked her with monkey noises. Mena shouted the slur repeatedly on camera during a recent episode of the VH1 series that documented the lives of stars of Atlanta’s hip-hop scene.
“I deeply regret my insensitive comment and would like to humbly apologize to anyone I hurt or offended through my thoughtlessness,” Mena said in a statement to the Times.
“My choice of words was wrong and I take full responsibility for what I said. I am committed to listening to the voices of those affected and will work for redress. As a woman of color and mother of two Black children, I want to be clear that my use of this word was in no way racially motivated. However, I understand the seriousness of my statement and want to use my platform to promote inclusivity and equality.”
Less than a week after the episode premiered, which sparked backlash over Mena’s misconduct, a statement shared on the Love & Hip Hop Instagram page confirmed that the former model would “not appear on the next season” of the show, “effectively”. immediately.”
“The Love & Hip Hop franchise has never shied away from tough conversations in our community,” the statement said.
“Working with our partners, viewers will experience the impact of Erica Mena’s remarks in the final three episodes of the season.”
During the episode, Mena flipped a table, insulted and lunged at Spice after the dancehall artiste told the Stepmom star that her son doesn’t like her. Spice later responded to Mena’s insults with one Video posted on social media.
“Because I said the son doesn’t like you, that still doesn’t change the fact that she made the racist comments…insults that she did,” Spice said in the video.
“She said what she said. … If I say that I triggered something in her to get angry – that’s why she made the racial slurs – then is it OK to experience racism as long as someone is triggered? Is this the new way now?”
A representative for Spice did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment Tuesday.