Billie Eilish has issued an apology.
As we previously reported, the singer was in hot water for a fan-made video compilation of some “problematic” behaviors. The clips included lip syncing an anti-Asian slur (from Tyler the Creator’s song Fish), appearing to mock Asian accents, and being called out by her brother Finneas for putting on a “blaccent.”
Five days after the “#BillieEilishCanceled” TikTok made headlines, the Bury a Friend artist addressed the controversy on her Instagram Story. She wrote on Monday:
“I love you guys, and many of you have been asking me to address this. And this is something I WANT to address because I’m being labeled something that I am 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 was a derogatory term used against members of the Asian community. I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word.”
The 19-year-old continued:
“This song is the only time I’d ever heard that word as it was never used around me by anyone in my family. Regardless of the ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry.”
She went on to address the “Asian accent” clip, saying:
“The other video in that edited clip is me speaking in a silly gibberish made up voice… something I started doing as a kid and have done my whole life when talking to my pets, friends, and family. It is absolutely gibberish and just me goofing around, and is in NO way 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.”
Hmm. You can go back and check out the video for yourself, Perezcious readers, but we can definitely understand why people took it to be mocking an accent. We assume she was pretty young in that clip too (she’s pretty young now!), so maybe she really was ignorant of how it sounded…?
Her apology continued:
“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.”
The Grammy winner concluded:
“I not only believe in, but have always worked hard to use my platform to fight inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity and equality. We all need to continue having conversations, listening and learning. I hear you and I love you.”
As you can see, this apology didn’t address the “blaccent” part of the video compilation, nor the recent uproar about the pop star queerbaiting her audience. We’ll have to wait and see if her disappointed fans accept this apology.
One thing’s for sure, navigating the glare of superstardom at such a young age, combined with the uniquely Gen Z problem of having your whole childhood documented online, is undoubtedly tricky. As Billie herself said, that doesn’t excuse hurtful or racist behavior, but we imagine we will be seeing a lot more of these kind of controversies from young celebs who have put so much of themselves on the Internet.
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