Below Deck star Heather Chase has issued an apology for using a racial slur on the show.
On Monday's episode of the Bravo reality series, the chief stewardess, who is white, said the N-word twice, both times in front of co-star and deckhand Rayna Lindsey, who is Black.
"I am sorry for the hurt my ignorance caused Rayna in tonight's episode," Chase wrote on Instagram. "While I apologized to Rayna throughout the season, I cannot express enough how truly remorseful I am. Part of my responsibility as Chief Stewardess is to provide a welcoming, safe environment for the crew and I fell short. Over the past nine months since this episode was filmed, I have learned how my words and actions can affect others and I vow to do better in the future."
In the episode, there are two instances of Chase using the word. First, while out with the crew, Lindsey used the word, and Chase repeated it. Later, Chase and fellow cast mate Jake Foulger were rapping with censored expletives while drinking beer. Lindsey, standing nearby, tells her, "You cannot say [N-word], you're white as [expletive]," adding, "That's cancel culture. Better be careful when you say the N-word. They'll cancel you so hard."
Chase says, "I don't think I said it, I'm sorry." Lindsey then tells her, "You know how people are. 2021. It's not 2002 anymore, you know?" after which Chase reiterates that she did not think she said the word and Foulger says that "no one said it."
Lindsey tells Chase, "You said it in the bathroom today." Footage of the two women walking together is shown, with Lindsey saying, "This [N-word!]" and Chase repeating her.
"That's OK, I still love you," Lindsey tells her. "I'm telling you, just be careful."
Chase replies, "Yeah, I can respect that. Thank you," and Lindsey says, "I got you" and toasts her, saying, "Better drink it, bitch."
Visibly upset, Chase leaves the room and later tells the camera, "I'm in shock. I don't even remember saying that." Inside her cabin, she tells her bunkmate, chef Rachel Hargrove, that "it just made me feel bad."
Lindsey later says in a to-camera confessional," I don't want to be, like, the angry person, but I think what bothers me that I'm supposed to work with these people who think this s--t's okay. She thought it was cool, and it hurts me. It hurts my heart, it hurts everything in me."
She is also shown telling first officer Eddie Lucas that Chase "saying [the N-word]" "pissed me all the way the [expletive] off." He says he would "not have been OK" with her saying that, adding, "You need to take care of yourself and you need to stand up for yourself when need be" but that she should "try to separate what's happening personally with what's happening on deck."
"Don't take things personally," he added.
Bravo declined to comment on the incident.
On Tuesday, Dec. 14, Lindsey wrote on her Instagram Story, "I battled a lot with trying not to get upset and give the 'angry black woman' narrative. I also through she had said it again in the crew mess so I was like alright time to address this."
She also wrote that she was "very upset" with Foulger and "told him my opinion," adding, "Jake knows better."
When a fan asked if she thinks it's OK for her "to say the word around people and then not say it," she responded, "Yes as an African American woman I can say it."
When asked if Eddie's comment about not taking it personally "just about deck issues or the racism," Lindsey replied, "Racism."
As for Chase, Lindsey wrote, "Wishing her love and light. I pray she learns from this."
(E! and Bravo are part of the NBCUniversal family.)