Atlanta FX star Lakeith Stanfield received major backlash after reportedly posted a video on his Instagram account featuring him rapping a homophobic freestyle. The video was quickly deleted from his account and replaced by another video responding to the criticism.
According to the actor, the video – which was originally labelled "offensive freestyle" – was portraying a character. "I make videos all the time, which I usually end up deleting as soon as I make them," Stanfield said. "I assume characters that have different viewpoints and different views on life, just from different perspectives. Some things my views are in line with, and some things my views aren't in line with. And this character that you've seen is a character I'm definitely not in line with, and I definitely don't believe those things."
He also stated that he is not homophobic. "I've never been homophobic," he declared. "I've never agreed with homophobic thought or hatred towards anyone for that matter. I'm a person that moves in love and I want to promote and continue to push that—and love for all people and all different types of love in every form it takes."
In addition to his explanation, Stanfield admitted that his previous video did not give fans context or indicate that the video was not aligned with his own views before posting. "I just want people to have a clear understanding because sometimes I make these things that could be very offensive and I don't always have the luxury of context," he added. "So I want to give people the context of me and let them know I'm not with that. I'm not with that at all. I apologize if it hurt anyone sincerely. That wasn't my intention to just be somebody that was out here just slinging arrows and hurting people, so I want them to know that I apologize if they had to feel sadness from that. My sincerest apologies."
Stanfield stars in the hit series Atlanta alongside Donald Glover. He also stars in the upcoming film, Sorry To Bother You with Tessa Thompson, which is slated to debut on July 6.