9-1-1 actor Ryan Guzman issued a mea culpa Monday after feeling the heat following his controversial comments on the use of racial slurs.
In an Instagram video, Guzman said, “I do not condone the use of the N-word by any non-Black person. That includes all Latinos. That’s not our word.”
The actor also pointed out that stars such as Cardi B and Fat Joe have used the word in the past without experiencing the same backlash.
He added that when he used the word “slurs” in his initial video, “I came from an angry place. I couldn’t think straight, and I misspoke.”
He reiterated that he was defending his fiancée Chrysti Ane and his one-year-old son, who were facing death threats and “foul-ass language” from people online.
He said that he meant to say “stereotypes” instead of “slurs,” once again reiterating that “amongst friends, can friends make fun of each other? Yes.”
But he added, “I’m not here to bring anybody down,” before zeroing in on the fact that his fiancée used the word years ago, when she was a teenager:
“I think she’s grown as a woman.” He went on to say: ‘I apologize to those that I have offended and misrepresented myself by using the wrong term… I will continue to grow, and continue to help out the community.”
Guzman, who plays firefighter Eddie Diaz on the Fox drama, faced immediate backlash with an Instagram Live post on Sunday in which he defended his Chrysti's response to old tweets that resurfaced in which she used slurs, admitting that he used them as well.
Ane apologized on social media for the tweets, but Guzman doubled down in the video, claiming that he and his multicultural friends “call each other slurs all the time.”
“I have plenty of friends — black, white, Asian, Indian, whatever they are, Korean — and we make fun of each other’s races all the time,” Guzman said in the clip.
“We call each other slurs all the time. We don’t get butt-hurt at all because we know the actual person, we know who each other are."
"We know that we’re not trying to bring each other down. So, what are y’all trying to get at? You’re trying to prove that somebody that’s not racist is racist? Nah."
"You don’t have that power. There is no racist energy coming from this household at all.”
Oliver Stark, Guzman's 9-1-1 co-star, took to Twitter in the aftermath of Guzman's weekend comments.
“I know a lot of you want to hear my thoughts on what a cast member said today on IG live. I can tell you that my opinion is there is absolutely no excuse for the use of the N-word," he said.
"It belongs to the Black community only and I absolutely don’t agree with it being used by anyone else under any circumstances.”
Added 9-1-1 co-star, Aisha Hinds:
"How I FEEL daily is a perpetual state of GRIEF. There’s sadly no version of this indefensible discourse that doesn’t exacerbate that grief."
"There’s legions of learned behaviors that need to be named and neutured so we don’t continue to give life to them. May we know & DO BETTER."
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.