Billie Eilish is apologizing after fans called on her to address an old video clip of the singer mouthing along to a song that included an anti-Asian slur.
The video was reposted several times on TikTok over the past week. On Monday, Eilish, 18, wrote in a statement on her Instagram story that she wanted to address the backlash because she said she is “being labeled something” that she is not.
“There’s a video edit going around of me when I was 13 or 14 where I mouthed a word from a song that at the time I didn’t know what a derogatory term used against members of the Asian community,” she wrote. “I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word as it was never used around me by anyone in my family. Regardless of my ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact is that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry.”
Billie Eilish said she was "appalled and embarrassed" over an old video of herself mouthing an anti-Asian slur. (Photo: Kelia AnneMacCluskey/ICON)
She also addressed a portion of the “edited clip” that some viewers interpreted as her mocking an accent. Eilish said she was just “speaking in a silly gibberish made up voice,” something she “started doing as a kid and have done my whole life when talking to my pets, friends and family.”
She added: “It is absolute gibberish and just me goofing around, and is in NO way an imitation of anyone or any language, accent, or culture in the SLIGHTEST. Anyone who knows me has seen me goofing around with voices my whole life.”
The singer highlighted the importance of continuing to have conversations, listen and learn from others, and thanked fans for taking the time to read her thoughts.
“I hear you and I love you,” she wrote, adding that “regardless of how it was interpreted I did not mean for any of my actions to have caused hurt to others and it absolutely breaks my heart that it is being labeled now in a way that might cause pain to people hearing it. I not only believe in, but have always worked hard to use my platform to fight for inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity and equality.”
Eilish plans to release her sophomore studio album, “Happier Than Ever,” on July 30. In anticipation, the 7-time Grammy winner has released two singles over the past two months, each with a music video: The slow, moody ballad “Your Power,” and cool breakup bop “Lost Cause.”
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