Liza Soberano apologizes over 'blackface' comments: 'I should've kept my mouth shut'

The actress apologizes for her responses to comments accusing her of wearing blackface in an ad

Rappler.com

Published: 3:51 PM September 17, 2019

Updated: 1:01 AM September 18, 2019

LIZA SOBERANO. The actress, seen here at the ABS-CBN Ball on September 14, apologizes for her response to comments accusing her of blackface in a Jollibee ad. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Liza Soberano has apologized for her responses after followers accused her of wearing blackface in an ad for a fastfood chain.

On Instagram on September 16, Liza posted a photo of her dressed up in an afro and leopard print top, clearly channeling Melanie Brown of the Spice Girls. She also portrayed the other members of the girl group in the same ad.

View this post on Instagram Guys, have you tried the new fries from Jollibee! I’m so excited to share with you my favorite #JollibeeCrispySpiceFries! Crispy thin fries with just the right spice. Thank you @jollibee for having me be a part of the family! So excited for what’s to come. #LizaSoberanoForJollibee #SpiceUpYourFries A post shared by Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) on Sep 15, 2019 at 11:51pm PDT

In the comments of the post, one person said "What the she did black face?!" to which Liza replied: "This is not any form of black face."

"It's a costume just like how any other person would dress up if they were portraying a famous character. In this case it's Mel B," she said.

Blackface is makeup used on a performer to make them appear darker when they are playing the role of a black person. The practice is widely seen as offensive, as it was traditionally used by white performers who portrayed caricatures of African slaves in minstrel shows in the United States.

Liza posted an apology on Twitter on September 16, saying "Before everything gets out of hand I would like to apologize for those affected by my comments about the whole 'black face' issue. It wasn’t of my intention to mock anyone of any culture or ethnicity."

Before everything gets out of hand I would like to apologize for those affected by my comments about the whole “black face” issue. It wasn’t of my intention to mock anyone of any culture or ethnicity. — Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) September 16, 2019

"I understand that this is a sensitive topic and that I should’ve kept my mouth shut," she continued, saying that she will try to learn more about such matters to keep herself from making "careless mistakes" again in the future.

I understand that this is a sensitive topic and that I should’ve kept my mouth shut. For now on I will try to be more educated about matters like this to make sure I don’t make careless mistakes like this again in the future. — Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) September 16, 2019

"Cultural appropriation is an issue that is deep rooted in society which I am still educating myself on. I’ve read your comments and tweets and I honestly do understand where this backlash has come from," she said in another tweet.

Cultural appropriation is an issue that is deep rooted in society which I am still educating myself on. I’ve read your comments and tweets and I honestly do understand where this backlash has come from. — Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) September 16, 2019

She ended her apology by saying she is thankful for those who are educating her in the comments section.

I am thankful to everyone educating me in the comments. — Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) September 16, 2019

Liza had faced similar backlash in the past – in February 2018, her casting in the show Bagani was criticized by people who pointed out that Liza and other actors of foreign descent were cast in a show inspired by pre-colonial Philippines. – Rappler.com