Gina Rodriguez posted an Instagram video while getting her hair done on October 15, and while singing The Fugees’ hit song “Ready or Not,” she rapped along with the words and dropped the N-word, which didn’t sit well with her 4.4 million followers.
The 35-year-old actress, who was born in Chicago, Illinois, and is of Puerto Rican descent, a was quickly dragged on Twitter for cultural misappropriation. She sang, “Voodoo I could do what you do, believe me n****s give me heebee geebees.” The song, which was originally released in 1996, continues to be a legendary track from The Fugees, the former group which consisted of Lauryn Hill, Pras, and Wyclef Jean.
The reaction on Twitter was not kind. Many users accused her of cultural appropriation, while others expected her inevitable apology. People on Twitter were also less than shocked to see this video trending since it will be the second time for which Rodriguez would have to issue an apology for making seemingly anti-black comments.
During a Net-A-Porter roundtable discussion in November 2018 with Ellen Pompeo, Emma Roberts and Gabrielle Union she said, “I get so petrified in this space talking about equal pay, especially when you look at the intersectional aspect of it. Where white women get paid more than black women, and 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.”
Rodriguez cried while talking about the “devastating” backlash she received afterward on the “Sway in The Morning” radio show in January 2019. She said, “The black community was the only community I looked up to growing up. We didn’t have that many Latino shows, so the black community made me feel like I was seen. So to get anti-black is saying that I’m anti-family,” while also mentioning that her father is dark-skinned and Afro-Latino.
“If anything, the black community is my community,” Rodriguez said. “When I speak about Latino advocacy, people think I’m only talking about people who are my skin color, but little do they know that I’m very aware of what my culture is.”
Rodriguez Issues an Apology & Shuts Off Instagram Comments After Seeing the Immediate Backlash
Rodriguez quickly started on trending on Twitter, and the former Jane the Virgin star deleted the Instagram video within the hour. She replaced it with an apology video in which she said, “Hey, what’s up everybody. I just wanted to reach out and apologize. I am sorry. I am sorry if I offended anyone by singing along to The Fugees, to a song I love, to a song I grew up on. I love Lauryn Hill. And I really am sorry if I offended you.”
In the aftermath, Rodriguez also shut off the comments on her Instagram account as users were flooding her previous posts with hateful comments. On Twitter, her apology didn’t go over too well, either.
Rodriguez Offers a Second Apology
Later on Tuesday night, Rodriguez shared a written note on her Instagram, further explaining her apology. She wrote “I thoughtlessly sang along to the lyrics of a favorite song, and ever 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, non will be more hurtful than the personal remorse I feel.”