Gina Rodriguez Calls N-Word Controversy A “Public Lesson”

Photo: Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock.
Gina Rodriguez has issued a statement following the controversy of her singing the n-word in an Instagram story.
"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," Rodriguez said in a statement to Refinery29.
She continued:
"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.  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."
This post was originally published on October 15, 2019.
On Tuesday, Gina Rodriguez recorded herself singing “Ready or Not” by the Fugees for her Instagram story. When she got to a lyric in Lauryn Hill’s verse which features the n-word, she sang along, angering fans who saw the move as disrespectful. 
Twitter users immediately criticized the star, who is Latina, for her use of the word. Rodriguez has since deleted the video from her story. 
Rodriguez posted an apology to Instagram in response to the backlash her video was receiving.
"I just wanted to reach out and apologize. I am sorry," she said later on her Instagram story. "I am sorry if I offended anyone by singing along to the Fugees, to a song I love, I grew up on. I love Lauryn Hill, and I really am sorry if I offended you."
Many on social media saw the video as a less-than-ideal apology.
A few people noted other instances of Rodriguez's behavior that had been deemed contentious. Specifically, at a panel for Net-A-Porter in 2018, Rodriguez claimed that Black women are paid more than Latina performers in Hollywood when Sofia Vergara, who is Colombian, was the highest-paid actress that year. Black women are statistically underpaid in the entertainment industry. (It should be mentioned that she may have been speaking about a popular statistic on the wage gap between women of different ethnicities across all industries.)
Over the weekend, Rodriguez was on the host committee for the second annual TIME’S UP Latinx Heritage event. At the event, a new initiative, The Latinx House was announced by Justice for Migrant Women founder Monica Ramirez.
Refinery29 has reached out to Rodriguez for comment.

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