Spice opens up about Erica Mena using a racist slur: ‘I can’t trigger you to be a racist’

Musician Spice poses in a white dress and blue hair with her hand on her hip.
Spice has responded to a racist remark that was made on ‘Love & Hip Hop.’
(Johnny Nunez / WireImage)

Spice has opened up about the moment that “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” co-star Erica Mena called her a racist slur that led to Mena getting fired from the reality TV show.

In an MTV roundtable discussion, Spice and a handful of her “Love & Hip Hop” castmates reflected Tuesday on an episode from this season in which Mena repeatedly called the Jamaican musician a “monkey” and taunted her with monkey noises. The roundtable segment aired after the Season 11 finale of the show.

“I don’t care what nobody else want to say: A racist was revealed,” Spice said.

“Four hundred years ago, our slave masters would call us monkeys to ... dehumanize us. It was a tactic to justify racism. ... This is a deeply rooted slur that has nothing to do with me. The history, the burden, the blood, the slashes, the tears and the fights ... everything is attached to this word.”


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

Spice also responded to criticism she has received for telling Mena during the episode that her son doesn’t like her — after which Mena flew into a rage, flipped a table and called her a “blue monkey.” The dancehall artist said that some have even urged MTV to fire her for the remark about Mena’s son.

Spice also pointed out that she is far from the only cast member to critique another’s parenting on the show.

“The color of my skin makes me seem like the aggressor or whatever,” Spice said.

“They’re painting me now to be the ‘angry Black woman.’ I can take full accountability for coming for her parenting. Her reply could have been a million other words that’s in her vocabulary. Why a racial slur?”

Erica Mena has apologized for calling her ‘Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta’ castmate Spice a racist slur. Hurling the word got Mena fired from the reality TV show.

Sept. 12, 2023

In a statement that has since been deleted from her Instagram page, Mena said earlier this month that she “deeply” regretted making the “insensitive comment” and conceded that her “choice of words was wrong.”

“As a woman of color and the mother of two black children,” she added, “I want to make it clear that my use of that word was not in any way racially driven.”

During Tuesday’s roundtable conversation, hosted by international colorism expert Sarah L. Webb, Spice responded directly to Mena.


“I take accountability for coming for Erica’s parenting, but it doesn’t sound to me like she wants to take accountability for being a racist or using a racial slur,” the Grammy nominee said.

“I can’t trigger you to be a racist. You can’t trigger someone to be a racist.”.

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

Spice said she didn’t want a personal apology because she doubted that it would be genuine.

“You can’t just apologize because your pocket has been affected,” Spice said. “You’ve got to really mean it.”

On Tuesday, Mena gave MTV a piece of her mind underneath an Instagram post from racial justice organization Color of Change previewing the discussion. The actor and former model accused the network of arranging the roundtable in a “desperate” effort to “save face.”

“The network chose to still film with me nonstop which is why I was used as the base storyline for the whole second half of this actual season,” Mena said in the comments section.

“If I’m being used to set an example why was I not apart of this ‘round table’ discussion? ... [The] true and only reason a statement was even made by the network was because [of] the backlash. Not because they truly believed what I said was a racial slur.”


Mena added that she felt Spice’s behavior was “just as wrong” and challenged MTV to air a discussion between the two of them “since now this network feels it needs to be had.”

On Sept. 2, MTV announced that Mena had been dismissed from the show for her actions.

“The ‘Love & Hip Hop’ franchise has never shied away from hard conversations in our community,” the announcement 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.”