Whether you know her from Fifth Harmony or for her hit single "Havana" or for dating Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello is a hot topic.
A little too hot. Someone dug up her old social media posts, and they are riddled with racial slurs.
Camila Cabello is a 22-year-old singer, model, and actress. She's friends with Taylor Swift, even. She is latine, of Cuban and Mexican descent.
Back in 2012, she was a teenager, and her social media activity from that time shows that she was deeply misguided.
She would reblog and write multiple posts on Tumblr that featured the n-word, the literal worst slur in the history of language.
This week, someone dredged that up on social media, and Camila is apologizing to fans.
"I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart," Camila captions her lengthy apology letter, shared to both Twitter and Instagram.
"When I was younger," she begins, "I used language that I'm deeply ashamed of and will regret forever,"
"I was uneducated and ignorant," Camila freely admits.
"Once I became aware of the history and the weight and the true meaning behind this horrible and hurtful language," Camila writes.
She says: "I was deeply embarrassed i ever used it."
"I apologized then and I apologize now," Camila emphasizes.
"I would never intentionally hurt anyone," she writes, "and I regret it from the bottom of my heart."
"As much as I wish I could," Camila laments, "I can't go back in time and change things I said in the past."
"But once you know better, you do better and that's all I can do," she expresses correctly.
Camila affirms: "I'm now 22, I'm an adult, and I've grown and learned"
She continues: "and am conscious and aware of the history and the pain it carries in a way I wasn't before,"
"Those mistakes don't represent the person I am or a person I've ever been," Camila writes.
She adds: "I only stand and have ever stood for love and inclusivity..."
"My heart has never, even then, had any ounce of hate of divisiveness," Camilla declares.
Her heart is famously in Havana.
"The truth is I was embarrassingly ignorant and unaware," Camila confesses.
"I use my platform to speak out about injustice and inequality," she notes, "and I'll continue doing that."
"I can't say enough how deeply sorry and ashamed I feel," Camila concludes, "and I apologize again from the bottom of my heart."
We'll say this much: this apology is a hell of a lot better than anything that we've ever heard from Gina Rodriguez.
What Camila said through gifs and memes in 2012 was not okay then, but seven years have passed and she is now an adult.
In contrast, Gina Rodriguez used the N-word in 2019 and has consistently inserted herself into discussions about the black community.
So this is a hell of a lot better than what people are accustomed to hearing from stars whose use of inexcusable slurs is exposed.
And personal growth is a real thing, particularly between ages 15 and 22.
Of course, society should never accept abusers or sex monsters or people who have committed hate crimes.
But making problematic jokes, holding a bigoted worldview, or other detestable behviors can be outgrown.
Using the n-word repeatedly is a lot worse than repeating a bad joke you saw on TV, but it's something that a person can realize was never okay.
Camila Cabello's apology is sincere and emphatic and genuine. However, we need to keep something very important in mind.
Those of us who are not black do not get to somehow "forgive" her on behalf of the black community.
That's not something that even an individual black person can do, either.
Understanding that someone was ignorant and recognizing their growth does not give us the power to absolve someone on another community's behalf.