Lakeith Stanfield received blowback this week for a freestyle he posted to Instagram in which he was heard rapping homophobic remarks. The clip was captioned with a message that said, "Offensive freestyle (not for the easily offended)."
Stanfield deleted the video shortly after uploading it, but it was quickly re-shared by outraged fans.
On Tuesday, he shared a response video, explaining that he regularly makes social media videos in which he assumes characters that have different viewpoints on the world. In this case, he says he personally doesn't agree with the character's viewpoints and notes that he's "never agreed with homophobic thought or hatred towards anyone for that matter."
"I make videos all the time, which I usually end up deleting as soon as I make them," Stanfield says. "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."
"I've never been homophobic," the Atlanta actor adds. "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."
Acknowledging that the video didn't have the proper context for fans to realize it didn't represent his own viewpoints, Stanfield explains, "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. 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."
In the caption of separate video in which he's rapping under a different character, Stanfield writes, "I’m not always in line with the beliefs of my characters. But sometimes I am :)"
Asked for comment, Stanfield's publicists told BuzzFeed News, "I believe he commented on this on his own IG: 'I’m not always in line with the beliefs of my characters.'"