After using the N-word on one of her Instagram videos, Zara McDermott has come forward with her apologies. Since the controversy arose, the offending video has been removed from the account. The Independent reported that McDermott’s boyfriend, Adam Collard, had shared the video of Zara singing along to Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now.”
Zara McDermott lists being a former government adviser for the Department of Education as well as an Operational Officer and Correspondence Drafter, as work experience on her Linkedin account. The 21-year-old, who also lists her modeling work, is famous and most well known for being a contestant on Love Island. This show is a reality television program with a cast of young single people looking to find love, with the winning couple walking off the island with £50,000, the equivalent of $65,083.25 USD.
The 22-year-old Collard was heard on the video cheering McDermott on while she drove, rapping along to the lyrics. The video was captioned with “Baaaaaaarrrrrss.” R&B crooner Chris Brown is black. Being white, McDermott, a Newcastle native, is being criticized for her use of the offensive term. One Twitter user spoke out against McDermott’s initial response to the unhappy comments revolving around the video.
“Zara being a government adviser whilst comfortably saying the n-word multiple times on Adam’s insta story, then replying by saying ‘it’s just a song’ instead of apologizing, is so f***** up I don’t even know where to begin.”
Before coming forward with an apology, McDermott first told one critic, “It’s a song omg.” Following alongside the message, she had included a couple of the crying emojis that are typically a reference to laughter. In her more recent apology, McDermott has made the statement that she is not an “ignorant” person, in defense of herself, while also still standing by her stance that “it’s a song.” The backlash around her singing in the video is seemingly ultimately what forced McDermott into apologizing.
“My point is that it wasn’t aimed at anyone, it was lyrics to a song that had been in the public domain for many years, a song that many people know. But I am genuinely sorry to have offended anyone, it just upsets me that people would ever think I was been intentionally nasty or ignorant because I wasn’t.”
The N-word is a derogatory term and racial slur which was used to refer to and insult the black community. Today, however, the term is prominently used in hip-hop music.