Erica Mena apologized after she was fired from Love & Hip Hop Atlanta for using a racial slur.
“I deeply regret my insensitive comment and want to humbly apologize to anybody I hurt or offended by my thoughtlessness,” Mena, 35, told Us Weekly in a statement on Tuesday, September 12. “My choice of words was wrong, and I take full responsibility for what I said. I am committed to listening to the voices of those affected and will work toward making amends.”
Mena went on to claim that she did not intentionally mean to insult costar Spice’s race. “As a woman of color and the mother of two black children, I want to make it clear that my use of that word was not in any way racially driven,” she continued. “That said, I do understand the gravity of what I said and want to use my platform to promote inclusivity and equality.”
Earlier this month, MTV announced that Mena would no longer appear on the long-running series after she referred to Spice, 41, as a “monkey” in a recent episode. “The Love & Hip Hop franchise has never shied away from hard conversations in our community,” read a statement shared via the show’s official Instagram page on September 2. “Working hand-in-hand with our partners, viewers will see the impact of Erica Mena’s remarks play out in the final three episodes of the season. Effective immediately, she will not appear in the next season.”
Mena joined the show in season 7, which premiered in 2018. She previously starred in Love & Hip Hop New York from 2011 to 2015.
Mena’s argument with Spice began when Spice claimed that Mena’s son King “hates” his own mother. In response, Mena yelled, “You monkey, you f–king blue monkey!”
Mena shares King, 16, with ex Raul Conde. She also shares daughter Safire, 3, and son Legend, 14 months, with ex-husband Safaree Samuels.
After the scene played out on TV, Spice told Forbes that she’s trying to move forward. “I’m on my journey to becoming this new woman,” she explained earlier this month, noting that she expects a certain level of drama while filming. “I feel like that comes with what I signed up for. So, I’m good. I’m in a better space right now. It comes with it. You know what the franchise is about. So, it’s OK for me.”