5 White Celebrities Whose Use of N-Word Backfired

Madonna latest star to apologize for using the racial slur.

ByABC News
January 21, 2014, 3:11 PM
Madonna speaks at the Gagosian Gallery, Sept. 24, 2013 in New York City.
Madonna speaks at the Gagosian Gallery, Sept. 24, 2013 in New York City.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Jan. 21, 2014— -- intro: Madonna discovered what a lot of other stars before her have, that using the n-word, no matter how well intentioned, can backfire.

The Material Girl apologized Saturday for using the racial epithet while referring to an Instagram photo of her son Rocco Ritchie.

Madonna Apologizes for Racial Slur

"I am sorry if I offended anyone with my use of the N word on Instagram," the singer wrote on her Facebook page. "It was not meant as a racial slur.. I am not a racist. There's no way to defend the use of the word. It was all about intention.. It was used as a term of endearment toward my son who is white. I appreciate that it's a provocative word and I apologize if it gave people the wrong impression. Forgive me."

The apology comes after Madonna posted a snapshot of her 13-year-old son along with the comment, "No one messes with Dirty Soap! Mama said knock you out!" along with the hashtag "#disni**a," using a variation of the n-word.

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She quickly deleted the post and labeled those criticizing her use of the n-word as "haters."

Madonna is the latest star to apologize for using the racial slur. Click through to see other celebrities who got heat for saying the n-word.

quicklist:title: Gwyneth Paltrow text: Gwyneth Paltrow found herself in the midst of a Twitter smack down in the summer of 2012 after tweeting "Ni**as in paris for real," when referring to to Jay-Z and Kanye West's Paris performance of their uber popular song, "Ni**as in Paris." The actress countered her critics, tweeting, "Hold up. It's the title of the song!"media: 21601972

quicklist:title: Charlie Sheen text: Charlie Sheen is well known for his colorful vocabulary. In the midst of their 2008 custody battle, his ex-wife Denise Richards released an expletive-laced voice mail, in which Sheen used a crude term for a female body part and referred to her as "f***ing n****r." Sheen apologized -- though not to Richards. "I deeply apologize by my choice of words to all I have obviously offended; especially to Tony Todd, an African-American, who was my best man at my first two weddings," he said in a statement.media: 21602043

quicklist:title: Paris Hiltontext: In 2007, Paris Hilton faced a backlash when a video circulated online of the heiress and her sister Nicky dancing to Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize." In the clip, Paris exclaims to the camera, "We're like two n****rs." Hilton's publicist, Eliot Mintz, came to her defense. "Each of us has used words we have regretted later," he said in a statement. "This was six years ago. She was 20 at the time. It was New Year's Eve. She had been obviously drinking. She sincerely regrets using those words. She is not a racist or an anti-Semite."media: 21601872

quicklist:title: Tim Allentext: "Home Improvement" star Tim Allen stirred up controversy after he openly talked about why he should be able to use the n-word. "I've had this argument on stage a million times," Allen told the Tampa Bay Times. "I do a movie with Martin Lawrence and pretty soon they're referring to me, 'hey my n****r's up.' So I'm the n****r' if I'm around you guys but 7 feet away, if I said n****r, it's not right. It's very confusing to the European mind how that works...."

"If I have no intent, if I show no intent, if I clearly am not a racist, then how can 'n****r' be bad coming out of my mouth?" asked Allen.

Apparently it was bad enough for Allen to later issue an apology. "If I offended anyone it wasn't my intention," he said in a statement to E! News.

media: 21601760