Former "Big Brother" contestant Luke Valentine says there's a simple explanation for him casually dropping the n-word -- but his quasi-apology isn't doing him a lot of favors.
Luke shared his thoughts Wednesday on social media as he went live from Havana ... claiming it's "pretty clear" he meant no harm when he used the racial slur around 3 houseguests, one of whom is Black.
He says his slip came after a week of not eating and getting pretty crappy sleep -- and he wants folks to know the 'BB' game can take a big toll on people.
Luke does say he regrets saying the n-word, but brushes off the whole thing in the same breath ... adding, "What happened, happened" and laughingly says the whole incident felt like when he was running his mouth in middle school. He understands why they had to boot him from the house, but ultimately thinks production made the wrong decision.
As you'd imagine, 'BB' fans online aren't taking his explanation that well -- one called it a "piss poor apology," while another wrote, "Trying your hardest to look as unbothered as possible and failing miserably."
As we reported, Luke let it slip and then swapped the word for "dude," laughing over it while his fellow contestants shamed him. He stuck around with housemate Jared, who ended up telling Luke, "I don't give a f***" in response to his using the epithet.
Luke was booted off the show pretty quickly after the incident -- and while he says he has no beef with producers for booting him out of the house, he thinks they made a mistake by letting him go.