Alia Shawkat Is 'Deeply Sorry' for Using the N-Word in 2016 Interview

Owning up to her mistakes. Alia Shawkat apologized for using the N-word in a 2016 interview after footage of the moment resurfaced on social media.

The Search Party star, 31, has been a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement in the weeks since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis. However, Twitter users claimed she should be held accountable for using the derogatory term as she quoted a song during a SXSW panel four years ago. After fans called her out, Shawkat issued a lengthy apology addressing the incident.

“I am deeply sorry and I take full responsibility,” she wrote on Monday, June 8. “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.”

The Arrested Development alum admitted that she has been taking the time to learn about more effective ways to be an ally to minority communities. “The voices of black people must be amplified and heard clearly,” she explained. “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 world ally.”

Despite her past mistakes, Shawkat reassured her fans that she would remain committed to fighting for equality and pushing back against systemic racism in the United States.

“I am sorry that my ignorance has led to this moment,” she concluded. “We as non black people must 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.”

Demonstrations in honor of Floyd, who died at the age of 46 after being arrested by Minneapolis police officers, have been taking over major cities across the country as activists continue to fight for victims of police brutality. In response to the nationwide uproar, celebrities have been using their platforms to speak out against injustice, and in some cases, open up about the ways they’ve contributed to systemic forms of inequality.

“I am inspired by black culture. I have benefited off of black culture,” Justin Bieber wrote in a statement on Saturday, June 6. “My style, how I sing, dance, perform, and my fashion have all been influenced and inspired by black culture. I am committed to using my platform from this day forward to learn, to speak up about racial injustice and systemic oppression, and to identify ways to be a part of much-needed change.”

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