The 21-year-old sparked a backlash after her boyfriend Adam Collard uploaded a clip of her singing along to Chris Brown’s song, Look At Me Now.
Collard can be heard cheering McDermott on as she drives and raps at the same time.
He captioned the clip: “Baaaaaaarrrrrss.”
Fans were left fuming and slammed the former government advisor for using the offensive term.
But she prompted further fury by responding to a critic with “it’s a song”.
One user posted: “So Zara’s said the N word and all she can say is iTs A sOnG, doesn’t she work in politics?”
Another wrote: “Zara being a government advisor whilst comfortably saying the n word multiple times on Adam’s insta story, then replying my saying ‘it’s just a song’ instead of apologising, is so f***** up I don’t even know where to begin........”
Sorry guys are we just allowing Zara to get away with using the n word?— Brandi (@Brobz1) July 18, 2018
Not sure what’s worse, Zara spitting out the n word or Adam thinking it’s totally unproblematic to record and put on his Instagram story— Hev (@hevbowens) July 17, 2018
She later issued an apology saying she was “genuinely sorry” and insisted she is not “ignorant”.
“I am sorry that I offended anyone,” she posted on Instagram.
“My point is that it wasn’t aimed at anyone, it was lyrics to a song that had been in the public domain for many years, a song that many people know.”
“But I am genuinely sorry to have offended anyone, it just upsets me that people would ever think I was been intentionally nasty or ignorant because I wasn’t.”
McDermott met Collard on this year’s Love Island. The pair coupled up after he rejected Rosie Williams only for McDermott to be dumped days later.
Collard then sparked a romance with Darylle Sargeant in Casa Amor before being booted out of the villa and declaring his love for McDermott.
Love Island is on ITV2, tonight at 9pm