Erica Mena says racist slur that got her fired from ‘Love & Hip Hop’ wasn’t ‘racially driven’

Erica Mena looks over her shoulder while posing in a black dress.
Erica Mena has released a statement after getting fired from “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.”
(John Salangsang / Invision / Associated Press)
Share via

Erica Mena has apologized for calling one of her “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” castmates a racist slur that resulted in Mena getting fired from the reality TV show.

The “Assistant” and “Hush” actor released a statement Tuesday addressing the incident, in which she called Jamaican musician Spice a “monkey” multiple times and taunted her with monkey noises. Mena shouted the slur on camera repeatedly during a recent episode of the VH1 series documenting the lives of the stars of Atlanta’s hip-hop scene.

“I deeply regret my insensitive comment and want to humbly apologize to anybody I hurt or offended by my thoughtlessness,” Mena said in a statement provided to The Times.


“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. 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.”

Erica Mena has been fired from ‘Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta’ after calling castmate Spice a racist slur, according to a statement on the show’s Instagram.

Sept. 3, 2023

Less than a week after the episode premiered and sparked a backlash due to Mena’s misconduct, a statement shared on the “Love & Hip Hop” Instagram page confirmed that the former model would “not appear in the next season” of the show, “effective immediately.”

“The Love & Hip-Hop franchise has never shied away from hard conversations in our community,” the statement read.

“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.”

Spice, the Jamaican-born singer and ‘Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta’ alum often referred to as the ‘Queen of Dancehall,’ announces that she is pregnant.

March 15, 2023

During the episode, Mena flipped a table, berated and lunged at Spice after the dancehall artist told the “Stepmother” star that her son doesn’t like her. Spice later responded to Mena’s insults in a video posted on social media.

“Because I said the son ‘doesn’t like you,’ it still does not deter from the fact that she made the racist comments ... slurs that she did,” Spice said in the video.


“She said what she said. ... If I say I triggered something in her to get angry — that’s why she made the racist slurs — so then it’s OK to experience racism as long as someone is triggered? Is that the new way now?”

A representative for Spice did not immediately respond Tuesday to The Times’ request for comment.