Erica Mena has apologized for calling one of her “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” castmates a racist slur that resulted in Mena getting fired from the reality TV show.
The “Assistant” and “Hush” actor released a statement Tuesday addressing the incident, in which she called Jamaican musician Spice a “monkey” multiple times and taunted her with monkey noises. Mena shouted the slur on camera repeatedly during a recent episode of the VH1 series documenting the lives of the stars of Atlanta’s hip-hop scene.
“I deeply regret my insensitive comment and want to humbly apologize to anybody I hurt or offended by my thoughtlessness,” Mena said in a statement provided 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 toward making amends. As a woman of color and the mother of two black children, I want to make it clear that my use of that word was not in any way racially driven. That said, I do understand the gravity of what I said and want to use my platform to promote inclusivity and equality.”
Less than a week after the episode premiered and sparked a backlash due to Mena’s misconduct, a statement shared on the “Love & Hip Hop” Instagram page confirmed that the former model would “not appear in the next season” of the show, “effective immediately.”
“The Love & Hip-Hop franchise has never shied away from hard conversations in our community,” the statement read.
“Working hand-in-hand with our partners, viewers will see the impact of Erica Mena’s remarks play out in the final three episodes of the season.”
During the episode, Mena flipped a table, berated and lunged at Spice after the dancehall artist told the “Stepmother” star that her son doesn’t like her. Spice later responded to Mena’s insults in a video posted on social media.
“Because I said the son ‘doesn’t like you,’ it still does not deter from the fact that she made the racist comments … slurs that she did,” Spice said in the video.
“She said what she said. … If I say I triggered something in her to get angry — that’s why she made the racist slurs — so then it’s OK to experience racism as long as someone is triggered? Is that the new way now?”
A representative for Spice did not immediately respond Tuesday to The Times’ request for comment.