90 Day Fiance: Before The 90 Days star Alina Kasha was fired following a disturbing racism scandal and hefty backlash.
TLC vowed to edit her story out of the rest of the season, an unprecedented extra step that they have yet to make good upon.
Alina, who initially denied that her racist posts were real, initially apologized … but sent mixed signals in the worst way.
Now, she has released a lengthy apology. Some worry that she’s just making more excuses.
In a YouTube video that Alina shared this week, she explained why she hadn’t come out with this apology weeks ago.
She said that it took her a while to think on what exactly she should say.
At the same time, Alina added that she was “told to keep silent and not say anything.”
“I never wanted to hurt anyone at all, and I am extremely sorry I did,” Alina expressed.
“I won’t ever use any of these derogatory words again,” she vowed.
“I acknowledge my fault and, once again, I am truly, sincerely sorry,” Alina emphasized.
Alina also made a promise to work on her ignorance and to educate herself.
But her nearly hour-long YouTube video obviously included more than a simple apology.
She also tried to explain … which, perhaps some people needed, but it was also where others felt that she went astray.
One of the biggest issues with Alina’s initial explanation, that as a Russian she had not known how bad the N-word was, was her alternate spelling.
She used the “qq” letters to replace the “gg” in the slur at one point, which seemed like an acknowledgment that she knew to not use it.
Alina explained in the video that she had seen the Q-variant on Facebook and thought that it was a “better way” to say the word.
Alina elaborated, explaining that she knew that the word was bad, but did not understand the history behind it.
To her, writing the word with the letter Q and ending it with the -A suffix was like “dang or darn instead of s–t and shoot.”
Alina also clarified that her infamous beardy “thug” makeup was not blackface (true) or intended to be a racist caricature.
Another major sticking point, beyond the initial racism scandal, was that Alina initially claimed to blogger Mommy Says Bad Words that the posts weren’t hers.
She accused that blogger of having fabricated the posts using photo editing software.
Alina explained in the video that her initial reaction was that she was “panicked and got scared.”
“Again, I knew that the n-word wasn’t a good word,” Alina cknowledged.
“But at the time I didn’t fully know America’s history with racism and how bad that word is,” she continued.
“And,” Alina added, “how it’s used to discriminate and demean people.”
Alina claimed that she thought of the slur as “more as a cuss word and like an exclamation” and “didn’t know it was used to attack people.”
She added that she only spent about a year studying abroad in the United States, and though it helped her English, she did not come away with an American’s understanding of cultural history or slurs.
(To be fair, there are Americans who express “confusion” over slurs, and why the marginalized people at whom they are aimed can use them if they choose)
Of course, Alina’s racism was aimed at more than just the Black community.
She wore a sari while mocking the Muslim community with a quip about being someone’s “134th wife.”
She also mocked Hugh Grant’s children, who are mixed race.
Alina apologized for both of those, indicating that she did not intend any bigotry towards Asians or Muslims.
She correctly reminded viewers that not everyone is familiar with American culture or the nuances of how slurs are different from simple obscenities.
However, we have to note that the N-word is not exclusive to America or even to English-speakers, and existed in multiple variants among European colonial powers for centuries.
There was a time when some of Alina’s offensive posts might have been considered mainstream “edgy” humor.
We can also acknowledge that she likely did not intend malice.
At the same time, not all racism is intentional (dare we say that most is unintentional), and Alina can continue to learn and grow without enjoying reality stardom.