Celebrities either suck at apologies, or they don’t understand that millions of people can tell when one isn’t sincere.
On today’s episode, Gina Rodriguez.
The 35-year-old “Jane the Virgin” actress made headlines Oct. 15 when she posted an Instagram story of herself singing along to “Ready or Not” by the Fugees. The line she sang was, “I can do what you do, easy, believe me, fronting n——- give me hee-bee-gee-bees.”
The internet was not impressed.
Quick condemnation came from Twitter for the seconds long clip that was clearly posted on a whim. Posting an Instagram story where you sing along to your favorite song is nothing new, but most users are conscious of what lyrics they are posting and what part of the song is getting its spotlight. It appeared as if Rodriguez didn’t think about the contents of what she was posting.
“Ready or Not” has only one instance of the n-word being said out of the total 3 minutes and 47 seconds of the song. There are so many other clips of the songs that she could have posted but she didn’t.
What made the situation worse was her apology. In the simplest terms, it wasn’t one.
She took to her Instagram and said: “I am sorry if I offended anyone by singing along to the Fugees, to a song I love that I grew up on. I love Lauryn Hill, and I really am sorry if I offended you.”
Rodriguez’s use of the word ‘if’ should be noted because it gives the connotation that she’s not entirely sorry for the post. She’s only sorry she got called out.
There is nothing wrong with listening to the song and seeing it as a part of her childhood. No one is attacking you for loving Lauryn Hill. What got people upset is your failure to see what you did wrong.
The n-word and its use in everyday conversation and music is always a topic up for debate. Some see its usage by African Americans as taking it back from those who used to demean slaves while others are opposed to anyone and everyone using it.
It’s a word that carries historical significance and a dark and unjust history of black people in the United States. Rodriguez’s second apology, which essentially served as an apology for the first apology, addressed the word. She wrote, “The word I sang, carries with it a legacy of hurt and pain that I cannot even imagine.”
The second apology was wordier and longer than the initial one but still lacked emotional depth, proving that celebrities don’t know how to apologize.
Following the infamous 2004 Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl, Justin Timberlake said, “Listen, I know it’s been a rough week on everybody. What occurred was unintentional and completely regrettable, and I apologize if you guys were offended.” His apology reads exactly like Rodriguez’s; he’s not sorry it happened, he’s sorry it got televised.
Their apologies typically make mention of a public reckoning and goals to educate themselves further on the issue at hand. They are always deeply sorry for what they did and they promise to do better. The apology is also always written in the Notes app on their iPhone.
Ariana Grande apologized for licking a doughnut with the Notes app, Drake apologized for photos of himself in blackface with the Notes app and Logan Paul apologized for filming a dead body with the app as well. It’s the go-to way to say “I’m sorry” in a matter of minutes.
As figures in the public eye, one would think that celebrities and famous actors, singers and performers would understand how their actions are scrutinized at the deepest levels and with the expansion of social media that gives us a peek into their everyday lives, they would be even more careful about what they post.
To sum it up, Gina Rodriguez was careless, ignorant and selfish. Next time, she should think for a couple of minutes before she posts.