Erica Mena is speaking out for the first time since being fired from VH1’s Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, releasing a statement sharing her side of the story.
The longtime reality star released a statement to TMZ earlier today (September 12), the first time she has addressed viewers of the show since VH1 announced she would not be returning to LHHATL after calling Spice a “blue monkey” during an argument on a recent episode.
“I deeply regret my insensitive comment and want to humbly apologize to anybody I hurt or offended by my thoughtlessness,” she told the gossip outlet. “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.”
While many viewers consider her comments towards Spice racist—and VH1 certainly did as she was let go pretty quickly from the series once the backlash started—Erica denies her use of the term “blue monkey” was in any way racist.
“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 said. “That said, I do understand the gravity of what I said and want to use my platform to promote inclusivity and equality.”
As previously reported on TVDeets.com, Erica Mena has been fired from VH1 and will not be returning to Love & Hip Hop Atlanta after her heated confrontation with Spice.
“The Love & Hip Hop franchise has never shied away from hard conversations in our community,” begins an official statement posted to the show’s social media accounts. “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 of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.”
In a scene on the Tuesday, August 26 episode of LHHATL, Erica Mena sat down with Spice to hash out their season-long issues. While both women were trading insults towards each other, Erica physically assaulted Spice by flipping a table on her and was shown throwing multiple insults towards her co-star, including calling her a “monkey.”
As soon as the episode aired, social media lit up with many viewers questioning why Erica Mena was still on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta despite multiple incidents over the years and why she had not been fired following this confrontation with Spice. While it took them a few days, MTV has clearly seen the fan feedback and has decided to nix Erica ahead of Season 12, which is expected to begin filming by the end of the year.
As previously reported on TVDeets.com, LHHATL Season 11 was supposed to be a bit of a reboot for the former VH1 show. According to a report from Deadline at the time, the show was retooled to include a more “docu approach to storytelling.”
Love & Hip Hop Atlanta airs Tuesdays on MTV.