After a clip surfaced of her calling fellow castmate Spice a “monkey,” she was immediately fired from the show. Since then, she has come out to apologize.
“I deeply regret my insensitive comment and want to humbly apologize to anybody I hurt or offended by my thoughtlessness,” Mena told TMZ. “My choice of words was wrong, and I take full responsibility for what I said.”
She continued: “I am committed to listening to the voices of those affected and will work toward making amends. 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. That said, I do understand the gravity of what I said and want to use my platform to promote inclusivity and equality.”
Mena added that she identifies as an Afro-Latina with Dominican and Puerto Rican roots.
On Sep. 3, Shine My Crown reported that the New York native was fired from the reality series following backlash over a clip. The show made the announcement on their social media accounts Saturday.
“The Love & Hip Hop franchise has never shied away from hard conversations in our community. 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,” the message reads. “Effective immediately, she will not appear in the next season of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.”
During a heated exchange between the two, Spice, a dancehall artist, is heard saying that Mena’s oldest son doesn’t like his own mother, causing Mena to flip a table, wishing her death and calling her a racial slur.
“That bit*h should’ve died!” Mena yelled referring to a health scare Spice endured last year.
“Your son hates you, bi**h!,” to which Mena replied, “You monkey, you f**king blue monkey!”
The exchange immediately set internet users ablaze, with many suggesting the term “monkey” is a term used to degrade Black people. Some also blamed Spice for bringing up Mena’s son during the argument, but by and large, it was Mena who was the target.
After the clip went viral, Spice took to Instagram to address the argument by posting a clip of Mena’s son. Mena is the mother of three children – two of whom she shares with Nicki Minaj’s ex-boyfriend Safaree.
“Kids are off limits right??????? But I guess it’s only when I ask cause where’s the same energy when Scrappy and Stevie J talked about it,” Spice wrote. “But now I’m a Monkey and should have died on the table? Ok, Erica.”