Erica Mena sparked a wave of criticism on social media by referring to Spice, her Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta co-star, as a ‘blue monkey’. What was supposed to be a peaceful resolution of differences between Erica and Spice turned into a brawl after Spice said Erica’s son had no affection for her. “Where is your son that don’t like you?” Spice said. Moments later, all hell broke loose. 

Erica Mena is of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent

Erica Mena was born on 8th November 1987 in the Bronx, New York. She is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent. 

She has previously described herself as ‘Afro-Latina’, which many commentators allege is false. ‘Afro-Latina’ describes a woman of mixed Latin American and African descent. To qualify as Afro-Latina, a person of Hispanic origin must have a Black descendant. 

It’s unclear if Erica is truly ‘Afro-Latina’. The internet thinks Erica’s ‘Afro-Latina’ claim is fake, that she only claims to have Black ancestry to profit off Black culture. 

In March 2021, Erica was criticized for calling her company, The Crowned Lady, a Black-owned company. Influencer Jessenia Gallegos asked Erica why she didn’t describe the company as Hispanic-owned. Despite the company being incorporated in her name, Erica insisted she was an investor in the company, not an owner. 

“So we going after people for being investors and business advisers in my friend and family businesses!? Because wake call I always all [out] for mine. I don’t give a F what you bloggers and trolls got to say about [that]. Half of you struggle because the internet is all you have,” Erica wrote on Instagram

Fans are calling for Erica’s immediate dismissal from Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta. The overwhelming sentiment is that Erica’s claim of ‘Afro-Latina’ ethnicity doesn’t excuse her actions. Some netizens are incredulous that Erica used a racial slur to describe a Jamaican woman, yet she has half-Jamaican children. 

“This isn’t Colorism. This is Racism,” @notshawnallen tweeted. “Erica Mena isn’t Black. Colorism is exercised within the same ethnic group/race. Calling Spice a ‘monkey’ is pure, cut & dry textbook RACISM. I implore the confused to get off of social media and open a book/dictionary.”