Alia Shawkat is Yet Another Celebrity Who’s Only Sorry She Got Caught

Four years after publicly throwing around a racist slur, Alia Shawkat’s apology rings hollow.

Alia Shawkat

Alia Shawkat, popular for her role in the cult tv series Arrested Development, is 'ashemed' for using the n-word, four years after using it. | Source: Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

  • Alia Shawkat is an actress on “Arrested Development” and Brad Pitt’s sometime girlfriend.
  • A 2016 video of her saying the “N-word” repeatedly has just resurfaced, for which she apologized.
  • Like other celebrities caught saying racist stuff, she’s just sorry she got caught.

Alia Shawkat is getting famous for all the wrong reasons.

The “Arrested Development” star and Brad Pitt’s sometime girlfriend is going on a mea culpa tour after a 2016 video of her saying the “N-word” repeatedly has resurfaced.

And, like other celebrities who are facing their racial reckoning in the wake of #BlackLivesMatter, Shawkat’s apology rings hollow.

Who Is Alia Shawkat?

Even though her name is trending at the moment, there aren’t that many people who know Alia Shawkat by “name.”

After all, when it was first announced that she was dating Brad Pitt, she barely picked up any traction in the blog-osphere.

So, by way of a quick introduction, Shawkat is a sometime actress who is best known for her work on “Arrested Development.” She met Brad Pitt when they worked on the film “Ad Astra” together, and though they’re alleged to be “just friends,” they also recently moved in together.

Yet, all of that wasn’t enough to make Alia Shawkat a household name.

But thanks to a 2016 video that’s just resurfaced, everyone knows her name now.

Alia Shawkat
People are not here for Alia Shawkat’s half-baked apology. | Source: Twitter

It Was On A 2016 SXSW Panel

While Alia Shawkat was on a SXSW panel in 2016, she said the “N-word” repeatedly. She was quoting song lyrics, but nevertheless, people held her accountable four years later.

Naturally, once Shawkat started being held responsible for actions, she went on Twitter to issue a mea culpa.

I am deeply sorry and I take full responsibility. It was a careless moment, one I’m ashamed and embarrassed by, but vow to continue to learn from. I regret using a word that carries so much pain and history to black people, as it is never a word to be used by someone who is not black. I have been learning so much about what it truly means to be an ally. The voices of black people must be amplified and heard clearly. As an Arabic woman, who can pass for white, I’m working hard to process this nuanced access I’ve been afforded, and I realize how important it is to be hyper vigilant in the spaces I exist in. I have been trying to understand the real definition of the word ally.

Leaving aside the performative value of this “apology,” it’s interesting to note that Alia Shawkat didn’t issue it in 2016 when she first said the word repeatedly. She issued it in 2020, four years after the fact, when she was confronted with her usage of the word.

And even now, as she tries to cop a plea and claim she’s “Arabic, passing as white” (she’s actually Iraqi, Norwegian, Italian, and Irish — so, she’s a mixture of many things — and as a matter of semantics, “Arabic” is a language, and “Arab” is a nationality — and this is to say nothing of how Arabs can be both black and white), Alia Shawkat’s apology rings hollow.

Like Stassi Schroeder and Ellen Degeneres, Alia Shawkat only apologized when she was caught. That’s an insincere apology that no one needs.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of

Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:59 PM
Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post,, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series and is the CEO of the acclaimed G-Force Marketing & Publicity firm, which has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter and has scored film, television, radio, and print placements for celebrity clientele worldwide. Reach her via email. Visit her LinkedIn profile here.
Previous Persona 4 Golden Is Finally Coming to PC Next Trump's Toothless China Bite is All Bark This Stock Market: UBS