9-1-1 star Oliver Stark is speaking out against his co-star Ryan Guzman following Guzman's defense of using racial slurs. On Sunday, Guzman defended his own use of racial slurs while addressing resurfaced tweets that his fiancée Chrysti Ane had posted. Guzman said on Sunday that he jokingly uses racial slurs with his friends "all the time," arguing that neither he nor Ane had racist intentions. Stark, in a fiery tweet on Monday, stated that "there is absolutely no excuse for the use of the n word."
... anyone else under any circumstances.— Oliver Stark (@oliverstarkk) June 1, 2020
Stark's response came just two hours after Guzman sparked backlash with his comments, which were prompted after several of Ane's tweets resurfaced from 2011 in which she used the n-word. Although Ane apologized at the time, stating that she didn’t fully comprehend "the weight of the word” when she shared the controversial tweets years ago, Guzman, in an Instagram Live video, defended their usage, saying he and his friends "call each other slurs all the time."
"I have plenty of friends — Black, white, Asian, Indian, whatever they are, Korean — and we make fun of each other's races all the time. We call each other slurs all the time," Guzman said, according to TVLine. "We don't get butthurt at all because we know the actual person, we know who each other are. We know that we’re not trying to bring each other down. So, what are y’all trying to get at? You’re trying to prove that somebody that’s not racist is racist? Nah. You don’t have that power. There is no racist energy coming from this household at all."
His remarks were immediately criticized by his followers and by fans of the Fox series, with some people calling for Guzman to be let go from 9-1-1. Guzman later addressed the outrage, writing that he is "done with defending myself or my family to people who are as quick to judge as they are to condemn." Sharing a link to ways people can help amid the protests, he added, "let me get back to the real topic and help out any way I can to the black community."
The renewed backlash comes amid nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who was killed after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded for air. While Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, the three other officers involved have not been taken into custody and are currently facing no charges. The May 25 incident, and the lack of accountability, has led to protests against systemic racism and police brutality, demonstrations now also occurring internationally.