Arrested Development actress, Alia Shawkat, who played Maeby Fünke in the hit series, is finding herself under fire after of her using the N-word in a 2016 interview that has resurfaced online.
The actress took to Instagram to share an apology to fans.
“I am writing this to address a video that was posted of me quoting a song with the n-word in it as part of an interview from 4 years ago,” she began. “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. I regret using a word that carries so much pain and history to black people, as it is never a word to be used by someone who is not black.”
She continued, “I have been learning so much about what it truly means to be an ally. The voices of black people must be amplified and heard clearly. As an Arabic woman, who can pass for white, I’m working hard to process this nuanced access I’ve been afforded, and I realize how important it is to be hyper vigilant in the spaces I exist in. I have been trying to understand the real definition of the word ally. It is more than simply believing in equality but to be willing to act with and for the black community. I aim to fight against these injustices and remind myself that this isn’t about a title but an action to work against these systems that have protected me but not others.”
She concluded by saying, “I am sorry that my ignorance has led to this moment. I will continue to support the black community as best as I can and learn from this. 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.”
Filmmaker Elgin James took to the comment section to share his support for the actress.
“When I, a black and Latino filmmaker, came to this town you were one of the first and only people to treat me like I belonged here,” he wrote. “You embraced me and supported me when I had absolutely nothing to show for myself. You put your career on the line to vouch for me and sign on for my film when no one wanted to give me a break and then you spent a month in Utah with me helping me learn the craft.”
He continued ” You have been one of my strongest and most dear allies ever since I got here. And someone who very clearly knows what it’s like to be judged for your ethnicity. People are mad at a non-white woman who’s always been very clear where she stands politically for quoting a song lyric in an interview? This is why we can’t have nice things. This is a distraction. You are one of the fiercest fighters for equality of anyone of any color I’ve ever met in this town. I love you. This is noise. It will go away. Lets all of us get back to the real fight. We don’t have the leisure of piling on and attacking each other for missteps when we’re all fighting to get to the same place.”
Alia has been vocally supportive of the black lives matter movement. She joined the BLM march in May, posting images from the event on social media, and has lent her voice to call for justice for Breonna Taylor.