Actor Ryan Guzman, who portrays firefighter Eddie Diaz on Fox's 9-1-1, apologized on Monday after facing backlash from fans and co-stars over his defense of using racial slurs. In an Instagram video, Guzman said that he "misspoke" and encouraged "any non-Black person" to stop using the N-word.
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In the near-3-minute clip, shared with his more than 770,000 Instagram followers, the actor stated that he does not "condone the use of the N-word by any non-Black person," including Latinos, and encouraged people who called him out to "keep that same energy for Cardi B, Tekashi 6ix9ine, Fat Joe, all them Latinos" who he said "get free passes" in using racial slurs. He went on to clarify that when he used "slurs," he "came from an angry place" and "couldn't think straight, and I misspoke." Explaining that his fiancée Chrysti Anes, who had used the N-word in resurfaced tweets, and their son were receiving death threats, Guzman said that he meant to say "stereotypes," adding that he was "not here to bring anybody down."
Guzman concluded his message by apologizing "to those that I offended and misrepresented" by using racial slurs and said that he stood by his "try, fail, learn, grow state of mind." Promising to "continue to grow, continue to help out the community," Guzman said that people should "help out our black brothers and sisters going through this horrible difficult time," referencing the killing of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer and the worldwide protests his death has sparked.
Guzman's apology came after he sparked controversy earlier this week when he shared a video defending his and his fiancee's use of racial slurs. Stating that he has "plenty of friends – Black, white, Asian, Indian, whatever they are, Korean," Guzman said that "we make fun of each other's races all the time" and that they "call each other slurs all the time."
As fans flocked to social media to calling for Guzman to be let go from 9-1-1, several of the actor's co-stars took to Twitter to call him out. Just two hours after Guzman's initial defense of using racial slurs, Oliver Stark, who portrays Evan Buckley, slammed Guzman in a tweet, writing, "there is absolutely no excuse for the use of the n word." Aisha Hinds, who portrays Henrietta Wilson on the series, also spoke out, writing that "there's legions of learned behaviors that need to be named and neutered so we don't continue to give life to them."