“Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Latoya Ali has issued a formal apology after a now-deleted YouTube video resurfaced that shows her using racial caricatures to describe a former friend, leading to accusations Ali displayed anti-black behavior.
In a note uploaded to her Twitter account on the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 12, the reality star wrote, “First and foremost I would like to apologize for the triggering language that I used in a video clip that resurfaced from 7 years ago.”
She continued, “Despite the fact that my intent was not to cause harm or to offend black women, I did just that. I am a proud black woman and I think all black women are valid and beautiful. I was ignorant to the fact that my words were perpetuating inherent biases and anti-blackness that we as black people deal with every day.”
The reality star acknowledged that “ignorance is not an excuse.” The 34-year-old concluded her statement by saying, “I have learned and grown exponentially since then, particularly within the last year. Those words do not reflect the woman I am today, and again I am truly and sincerely apologetic for the hurt that I caused.”
LaToya made headlines after a clip of her describing a former friend as “super ghetto” and possessing “huge Donkey Kong lips” emerged. The former YouTuber has since deleted the video, titled “STORYTIME: THE TIME I BEAT UP MY BEST FRIEND,” but folks online were able to record portions of the video before it had been erased.
The backlash ensued, and despite her efforts to take accountability for her actions, critics didn’t seem to be satisfied with her apology — or accepting that she is 34 years old.
One Twitter user handed the reality star a three-part scolding, writing, “Young lady, I don’t know anything about you but I watched that video. DO NOT LABEL THIS AS A TRIGGERING MOMENT!” They continued, “IT WAS RACIST! 7 years ago you were 33, YOU HAD TO KNOW HOW BLACKS WERE DEPICTED AND LAUGHED AT BY WHITES! You drove home your point about her lips with cartoons.”
In another post they wrote, “Your really dug in when you used your forearms to simulate (pillowcases) your word not mine! The big pink lips on the cartoon combined with the flapping (opening/closing) of your forearms to demonstrate what her lips resembled, was disgusting.”
“The braids falling out on the cartoon and your comments were disgusting, MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT! At 33 you knew, just as you know now. It’s who you are as a person. You meant to maim your former friend emotionally and psychologically, IT’S WHO YOU ARE!” they concluded.
“Keep this PR apology,” another user commented. “If your anti Blackness, featurism, and colorism wasn’t exposed, this fake apology would never have come. And for those mad that Black women with full lips won’t accept this “apology”, stay mad. We owe neither Latoya nor you nothing.”