Erica Mena was fired from the Love & Hip-Hop franchise for calling fellow Atlanta cast member Spice a “monkey.” Now, fans are calling for some sort of action for Spice calling Mena’s gal pal Bambi something similar.
On the latest episode of the reality series, Spice called Bambi “a giraffe,” and people were “outraged” that she was called an animal. The comment came during a back-and-forth with Bam during a dinner with the cast that escalated quickly into an unflattering rant, in which she calls her the tallest mammal in the world. Fans were quick to come to Bam’s (and inadvertently, Mena’s) defense.
“So nobody got a problem with spice calling Bambi a giraffe??? Lmaooooo,” one person tweeted.
“So @MonaScottYoung since u firing people, are u firing spice for calling Bambi a giraffe on this week episode. Or that’s gone get overlooked just like when she fat shamed tokyo. #LHHATL #LAHHATL,” another fan posted.
Another added, “For #Spice to be crying about being called a monkey just for her to turn around and call #Bambi a giraffe is… cringe. if i’m not mistaken, calling someone a giraffe in Africa is also a slur, so it’s okay for her to refer to another black woman as a giraffe? it’s not racism.”
While many were upset, there are some who brought up the fact that historically “giraffe” and “monkey” means something different in America (North, Central and South) and the Caribbean.
“Y’all comparing #Spice calling #Bambi a giraffe to Erica calling her a monkey shows y’all lack comprehension skills. Clearly one was done with a NEGATIVE RACIAL CONNOTATION and the other is just someone being f###in argumentative. Like bffr and use your brains. #lhhatl,” another person added.
According to the Cotton Quilt, a platform that breaks down anti-Blackness, calling a person a monkey or ape has a dark history in global racism but suggests people shouldn’t demonize people for their ignorance.
“This equation between Blacks and apes has been around for such a long time (hundreds of years) that many of us, Black, Latine/x, White and Asian American, will ‘tease’ a Black person about being or looking like an ape or gorilla without fully understanding the implications of what is being said,” the organization shared. Many simply don’t know that people of African descent have, through scientific racism, been equated with simians. We don’t have to know this history or be consciously aware of this bias to know that somewhere deep in our mind, we think that ‘Blacks are apelike.’”
It continued, “Thinking this doesn’t make us racist, but it should make us aware of the systemic ways racism is built into our culture through our language (see ‘monkey chanting’), our jokes, the books we read, and the movies we watch.”