Critical Role's Sam Riegel has apologized for his role in a 2010 video in which he portrayed a parody of Tiger Woods.
Riegel posted the apology on the Critical Role subreddit earlier today after seeing "some chatter" about the video, which some have described as racist and stating that Riegel appeared "in blackface."
Riegel appears in the video as "Tigga Hoods" with his skin darkened by makeup and raps for nearly three minutes while referencing various scandals surrounding Tiger Woods at the time. The video was produced by Dipdive.com, a now defunct website owned and run by the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am.
"I’ve noticed some chatter about a certain comedy video I appeared in many years ago and wanted to address the totally legitimate concerns some have voiced," Riegel writes. "In hindsight, it was 100% a mistake to participate in the video, and I deeply regret it."
Riegel explains in his post that he didn't question the decision to have his skin darkened for the video at the time because both the makeup artist and video producer were African-American. However, he recognizes that the video comes across as racially insensitive and apologizes for it.
"The truth is, there is no excuse for being culturally or racially insensitive," Riegel wrote. "I understand that my past actions have offended some of you, and I am truly sorry. I accept full responsibility and feel very embarrassed for allowing myself to get into this situation."
"Over the years I’ve done lots of weird, borderline offensive shit in the name of comedy. And in this case, the content definitely crossed the line. No matter what, it is wrong to portray a character of another race."
Critical Role is a popular Geek & Sundry show featuring voice actors playing Dungeons & Dragons. Riegel currently plays as "Nott the Brave," a female goblin rogue, in the show's current campaign. Riegel has also voiced Phoenix Wright in the Ace Attorney series of games and was the voice of Donatello in the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon.0comments
Riegel's Critical Role castmate and friend Liam O'Brien also commented on the post. "You know, despite how out there the video in question is, I was always amazed by the fact that my friend had been hand chosen by will.i.am to sing one of his songs," O'Brien said. "But. We don’t live in a vacuum. I like to think I do a decent job of pushing for inclusivity and progress when I’m able, but I am admittedly far from perfect. Apologies for any insensitivity on the matter." O'Brien had also received criticism for tweeting about using Riegel's song as his ringtone back in 2016.
Reaction to Riegel's post was largely positive, but there were some who felt that the apology didn't go far enough. Moderators on Reddit eventually locked the post after several commenters began arguing over the use of blackface in comedy.