Billie Eilish, 19 years old and a singer-songwriter, has come out and apologised after mouthing a racist slur in a resurfaced video of hers.
This comes after the pop star, 19, faced a backlash after a compilation video was shared on TikTok earlier this month in which she seemed to mouth an anti-Asian slur.
The Grammy-award-winning singer came under fire for allegedly saying the word ‘ch*nk’ – an offensive racial slur directed towards Chinese people – in the edited compilation of undated video clips.
In the controversial TikTok video, she has been filmed speaking in different accents, and was apparently mouthing the word which appeared in Tyler The Creator’s 2011 song Fish.
Taking to Instagram, the star issued a public apology for the video on her Story in front of her whopping 87.1 million followers where she said she wanted to “barf” that she ever mouthed along to the word.
In her statement she said she was “13 or 14” in the videos and did not know the slur was a derogatory term at the time.
She wrote: “I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word.”
“This song was the only time I’d ever heard 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.”
She released the statement after the bombshell video went viral on social media which upset her fans with many wanting answers.
The singer had begun by saying: “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 labelled something that I am not,”
Billie then explained that the clips of her imitating accents was her speaking in a “silly gibberish made up voice”, which is something she has done since she was a child, that was not an imitation of anyone or any language, accent, or cultures.
This follows a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes during the Coronavirus pandemic, and hate crimes against Chinese people tripled in the UK last year – with at least 267 reports of attacks on Chinese and other Asian people at the start of 2020.
It also comes after Billie was accused by some of her fanbase for ‘queerbaiting’ in her latest music video Lost Cause – after she posted a series of photos with the flirty caption: “I love girls”.
A number of fans were outraged and claimed she was ‘queerbaiting’ – which is when artists try to market products to the LGBTQIA+ people by creating homosexual narratives to make profit from the audience.
Billie went on to say that she didn’t mean to offend anyone and the idea of causing people pain “absolutely breaks my heart”.
She closed her statement by saying: “I not only believe in, but have always worked hard to use my platform to fight for inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity and equality.
“We all need to continue having conversations, listening and learning.”