Alia Shawkat apologizes for using the N-word during 2016 interview
"I am deeply sorry and I take full responsibility," said the Search Party star. "It was a careless moment."
On Monday, the actress shared a lengthy statement on her social media platforms. "I am writing this to address a video that was posted of me quoting a song with the N-word in it as a part of an interview from 4 years ago," she wrote. "I am deeply sorry and I take full responsibility. It was a careless moment, one I'm ashamed and embarrassed by, but vow to continue to learn from."
The video in question, which has been circulating on social media, was taken at South by Southwest while Shawkat was promoting her new TBS show Search Party. The full conversation with her at SXSW has been removed from the festival's Youtube channel and website.
Shawkat, 31, went on to say in her apology that she understands the "nuanced access I've been afforded" as an Arabic woman "who can pass for white."
"I have been learning so much what it means to be an ally. The voices of black people must be amplified and heard clearly," she continued. "I am sorry my ignorance has led to this moment. I will continue to support the black community as best I can and learn from this."
Shawkat concluded her statement with: "We as non black people must all take responsibility for the inactivity we’ve been comfortable to sit with for so long- that has gotten us here. Silence is violence, and so are the words we irresponsibly throw out. I plan to stay engaged and learn from my friends who are helping me understand. And to take on this fight for justice with an active mind and open heart. I thank you for reading."
The actress' apology comes amid national unrest over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, an incident that has spurred a larger conversation on police brutality and racism.
Shawkat has recently been vocal about the Black Lives Matter movement on her social media accounts. Last Thursday, she shared a Defund the Police rally cry and asked her followers on Friday to #sayhername in regards to Breonna Taylor, a black emergency medical technician who was killed by Louisville, Ky., police in March after officers barged into the wrong apartment with an illegal no-knock search warrant.
To help combat systemic racism, please consider donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero, which is dedicated to ending police brutality in America through research-based strategies.
- Color of Change, which moves decision-makers in corporations and government to be more responsive to racial disparities.
- Equal Justice Initiative, which works to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality.