Ryan Guzman is facing major backlash after posting an Instagram Live on Sunday, May 31, and admitting to using racial slurs “all the time” with his friends. The 9-1-1 actor, 32, admitted, “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. We don’t get butt hurt 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.”
Ryan posted the video after his 26-year-old fiancee’s controversial tweets from 2011 resurfaced online. In the tweets, she revealed that she uses the N-word with her African American friends, but due to not truly understanding the “weight” of her actions and words at that time — when she was just 16 years old — she issued an apology on Sunday, May 31.
Then, after Ryan’s own video started getting some backlash as well, he took to Twitter to try and explain himself. “I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for my misuse of ‘slurs.’ I should have said we make fun of each other’s ‘stereotype.’ My friends black friends will tell me to go mow a lawn or hop the border. Out of context that seems racist asf but I know my friends mean no harm,” he wrote. “Let me be clear cut. I do not use the n word because it’s not mine to use. My true friends of all races know that.”
Ryan later shared a link and told his followers how to help contribute to the Black Lives Matter movement, but despite his attempt at trying to refocus everyone’s attention on what truly matters, the damage was already done, and some of Ryan’s 9-1-1 co-stars spoke out on his controversial video.
“I know a lot of you want to hear my thoughts on what a cast member said today on IG live,” Oliver Stark, 28, wrote on Twitter. “I can tell you that my opinion is there is absolutely no excuse for the use of the N-word. It belongs to the Black community only and I absolutely don’t agree with it being used by anyone else under any circumstances.”
Rockmond Dunbar, who also stars on the FOX series with both Ryan and Oliver, retweeted Oliver’s statement before adding his own response, saying, “As a black man this should go without saying but just to make sure people in the back understand when I say this with my whole chest: I don’t condone the s**t. I don’t like the s**t. And I’ve never been one to allow the word to be used around me by any non-black person and any alleged ‘black people’ that are co-signing their non-black friends to refer to them in that way need their entire asses checked. Too much history, too much pain. Past and present. S**t is utterly unacceptable.”
Ryan’s controversial video comes amid ongoing protests around the world, which started after the heartbreaking death of George Floyd on May 25. The 46-year-old unarmed black man died in Minneapolis after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, despite George’s cries that he couldn’t breathe. Chauvin was arrested four days later, on May 29, and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.