Rodriguez posted the clip on Tuesday. In it, she’s having her hair and makeup done as she raps along to the 1996 Fugees track “Ready or Not.” The actress, who is of Puerto Rican descent, follows Lauryn Hill’s lead as she repeats these lyrics: “I can do what you do, easy, believe me / Fronting n****s give me heebie-jeebies.” She then laughs and appears to look over at her makeup artist.
Rodriguez — who has faced accusations in the past about being “anti-black,” which she tearfully denied during an appearance on Sway in the Morning in January — soon came under fire for repeating the N-word. Some critics claimed that this, coupled with her remarks about pay equality and race in a November 2018 interview with Porter, revealed a pattern of problematic behavior regarding black people. African-American celebrity gossip site Bossip even dubbed the voice of Netflix’s Carmen Sandiego “Carmen Klandiego” in response.
A few hours after the clip went up, Rodriguez deleted the video and posted a new one apologizing to those offended, though she didn’t specifically reference the slur.
“I am sorry if I offended anyone by singing along to the Fugees, to a song I love, that I grew up on,” she said. “I love Lauryn Hill and I really am sorry if I offended you.”
It’s the second time this year the Someone Great star — who just announced her involvement in a Latinx partnership with Time’s Up — has defended herself against accusations of racism.
“The black community was the only community I looked towards growing up,” she told Sway in the Morning in January in response to the “devastating” backlash she received after arguing that black women are paid more than Latinas. “We didn’t have many Latino shows and the black community made me feel like I was seen, so to get ‘anti-black’ is to say I’m anti-family. My father is dark-skinned. He is Afro-Latino … It’s in my blood. So it was really devastating to me. And I know my heart. I know what I meant. I really wish that we weren’t living in a culture where we’re clickbait because I’ve never said anything controversial about anybody.”
That statement, however, fell flat with many critics.
So, it seems, has her apology for the N-word gaffe.
Some fans did come to her defense, arguing that she was merely repeating a rap lyric. Others appreciated her apology and felt it was time to move on.
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