Billie Eilish has apologised to her fans after an old video of the artist mouthing a racist slur against Asian people resurfaced last week.
Eilish came under fire after a series of video compilations circulated on TikTok and then wider social media. In one clip, the singer can be heard saying a derogatory slur against Asians. In another, she appears to mock their accents.
In a lengthy statement posted to her Instagram Story on Tuesday, Eilish said she was addressing the videos because her fans asked her to and because she wanted to make it clear that she is not racist.
“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,” Eilish wrote.
“I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to the word.”
Eilish said the song she had been listening to was the only time she heard the slur being used and clarified that she and her family had never used it.
“Regardless of my ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact is that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry,” Eilish said.
The artist also apologised for a second clip that circulated social media last week, which appeared to show Eilish mocking Asian accents.
She vehemently denied this, explaining that she was putting on a “silly gibberish made up voice.”
“[It is] something I started doing as a kid and have done my whole life when talking to my pets, friends, and family. 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,” Eilish wrote.
“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 artist continued that she has always worked hard to use her platform to fight for inclusion, kindness, tolerance, and equality.
Eilish’s apology comes as the #StopAsianHate movement continues to grow around the world. As its name suggests, the movement fights discrimination against Asian people, especially after hate attacks against the Asian community skyrocketed during the pandemic.