Southern Charm star Kathryn Dennis apologized on Monday, May 11, after taking heat on social media for sending racist messages to radio host Tamika Gadsden.
Gadsden, a podcaster and the leader of the Charleston Activist Network, put the 28-year-old Bravo star on blast over the weekend after the host called out local beauty salon owner Katie Shields for holding a rally in support of President Trump in Charleston, South Carolina. After speaking up about the Mylk Bar entrepreneur’s “reprehensible” behavior, Gadsden received extremely negative, racially charged critiques from Dennis over Instagram.
“This is what happens when a Black woman in #Charleston speaks up against white supremacy in the form of MAGA rallies,” Gadsden tweeted on Monday alongside screenshots of her DMs from Dennis. “My comments re: Mylk Bar prompted this @BravoTV ‘actor’ @KathrynDennis to taunt me with monkey emojis in my DMs. Along with a whole host of other names.”
The reality TV personality lashed out at Gadsden, calling her a “weenie” and telling her to “grow a pair” before sending another message that included a monkey emoji. Throughout history, monkeys have been used as degrading caricatures of the black community, and Gadsden was quick to make sure Dennis’ fans were made aware of her racist remarks. Dennis later accused Gadsden herself of being racist for calling out “white people” in an Instagram Story addressing the controversy.
“Your goal in posting statements to attempt to induce a negative stress-related response only brings light to the facts that you are indeed an officially discredited source for any and all examples or role models to any and everyone,” Dennis added in a separate direct message, telling the activist and organizer that her opinions held no value.
Not long after her distasteful and insensitive private comments to Gadsden surfaced on social media, Dennis showed remorse for her actions and apologized on Twitter.
“I want to acknowledge that using a monkey emoji in my text was offensive, and from the bottom of my heart I sincerely apologize to anyone and everyone I hurt,” she wrote on Monday afternoon. “Although the context was not my intention, there are no ‘if ands or buts’ that excuse me … I did not give it thought, and it was and is wrong. I know I am not that person. I know and will do better.”
Earlier this year, Dennis weathered another controversy when fans were convinced that she was no longer sober following her 2016 stay in rehab for substance abuse issues.
“Am I not allowed to have a sense of humor without you people thinking I’m high?!” she fired back on social media in March. “Let me liveeee.”
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