Gina Rodriguez is Cancelled ... Again!

Gina Rodriguez, best known for her role in CW's Jane the Virgin, posted a (now-deleted) video on her Instagram story on Tuesday afternoon of her singing along to "Ready or Not" by the Fugees.

But it wasn't just any verse in the song, rather Lauryn Hill's verse where she said:

"I can do what you do, easy

Believe me, fronting n****s give me heebie-jeebies"

You can watch the video here.

But, wait, wait, wait, wait, let's back up a bit. Gina has actually had multiple controversies due to anti-black comments in the past. So before we dissect what happened on Instagram with her straight up use of the N-word, we need to delve back into her history...

2017: Black Panther

During the summer of 2017 as promotions for Marvel's Black Panther were released, Gina tweeted (and deleted) "Marvel and DC are killing it in inclusion and women, but where are the Latinos?! Asking for a friend..." 

She was criticized for minimizing an important moment in film history, all while erasing the fact that Marvel and DC actually have Afro-Latinx actors and actresses in their films. It was as if Gina pulled an "All Lives Matter"—but in movie form. Yes, inclusion of all ethnicities, sexualities, and perspectives is a necessity in the entertainment industry, but girl, please don't make a movie celebrating African culture and promoting black representation about you!

2018: Equal Pay

Gina was featured (alongside Ellen Pompeo, Gabrielle Union and Emma Roberts) in an intimately set video by Porter Magazine about pay disparity in Hollywood. Gina is on record elaborating on facts that are false—"I get so petrified in this space talking about equal pay especially when you look at the intersectional aspect of it, right? Where white women get paid more than black women, 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." While this statement might be true in the general workforce, it's absolutely false in Hollywood (in fact, Sofia Vergara was the highest paid actress at that time). And after receiving criticism from fans for promoting false narratives and facts, Gina tearfully tried to make amends on the SiriusXM show Sway in the Morning (spoiler alert: it didn't help):

“I wasn’t speaking about my industry...The backlash was devastating, to say the least. The black community was the only community I looked towards growing up. We didn’t have many Latino shows and the black community made me feel like I was seen. So to get anti-black is saying I’m anti-family.”

To make things worse, she went on to say that her father is a "dark-skinned Afro-Latino.". 

This is her dad. 

Being half a shade tanner doesn't make him "dark-skinned," Gina!

To sum it up best by Twitter user @bluinmoonlight:

"Gina Rodriguez could easily acknowledge that her past comments were antiblack (regardless of if she didn't intend them to be) and learn to do better and grow but she rather play victim."

Exactly! Rather than portray herself as the one being attacked, all Gina had to do was sincerely apologize for her mistakes and promise to learn from them, and actually make an effort to be a better person. 

Which brings us to...

2019: The Fugees Were My Childhood!

Naturally, after Gina posted her controversial video to Instagram, people were outraged. She instantly began trending on Twitter for the majority of Tuesday evening, and people were flabbergasted that she, once again, had shown her true colors after sobbing on air about how she was sorry. 

Gina then posted a video on her story apologizing in which she said "I'm sorry if I offended anyone, by singing along to... a song I grew up on. I really am sorry if I offended you." But if you watch the video, both her body language and her fluctuation were sarcastic, and as one Twitter user put it, "home girl was telling y'all to get over it." Gina has a knack for making the situation worse with insincere, passive-aggressive, and dismissive apologies that show that she doesn't really care about what she did, or about the black community. 

But wait, there's more. 

On Tuesday night, Gina did what celebrities in the midst of scandal do best: posted an iPhone notes app apology.

 

Let's break this down.

  • "I grew up loving the Fugees and Lauryn Hill." So did a lot of non-black people. Doesn't mean they get to say the n-word, though, does it?
  • "I thoughtlessly sang along to the lyrics." This definitely means she has said the n-word every time it comes up in this song. Perhaps even in other songs too. Great.
  • "...None will be more hurtful than the personal remorse I feel." Gina, I thought you learned after Black Panther. It's not about you!
  • "my own video... has shaken me to my core." But you filmed it on your own accord, it's not like it was leaked footage. You watched it, posted it, and decided to post an insulting apology video afterwards.
  • "I feel so deeply protective... but I have let this community down." If you really were protective of the POC community, you would use your voice and power to stand up for black women, to empower them, not shut them down and dismiss their perspectives. 

The Bigger Picture, and a Message to non-BPOC and White Women:

This entire situation shed a lot of light on the role Women of color play in promoting anti-black ideologies. If we are going to call ourselves allies to black women and the black community, this means we have to do better to fight in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. This means we cannot accept people in positions of power making racist statements over and over again. It is critical for us to use our privilege to hold people, both online and in our lives, accountable for their actions.