- The video clip, which has been shared widely on TikTok, showed Eilish mouthing the racist slur.
- On Monday, she posted a lengthy apology on Instagram.
- The singer said she was “13 or 14” in the video and did not know the word was a racist slur.
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Billie Eilish has apologized after a video resurfaced online that appeared to show her mouthing a racist slur.
In the clip, which is part of an edited compilation of videos of the singer that is being shared widely on TikTok, Eilish appeared to mouth an anti-Asian slur featured in Tyler, the Creator’s 2011 song “Fish.” During a separate clip, Eilish is filmed speaking in what appears to be an affected voice, which some fans interpreted as her imitating different accents.
On Monday, the Grammy-winning 19-year-old shared a lengthy statement on her Instagram Stories writing that she was “13 or 14” in the videos and at the time did not know the slur was a derogatory term that is used against members of the Asian community.
“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,” she said. “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 continued to write that the clip some people had interpreted as her imitating different accents was footage of her speaking with a “silly gibberish made-up voice,” something she said she has done regularly for many years.
“It is absolutely gibberish and just me goofing around and is in no way an imitation of anyone or any language, accent, or culture in the slightest,” she wrote. “Anyone who knows me has seen me goofing around with voices my whole life.”
She added that regardless of how her actions were interpreted, she did not mean to cause offense.
“It absolutely breaks my heart that it is being labeled now in a way that might cause pain to people hearing it,” she wrote.
“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. I hear you and I love you.”
Last week, People magazine reported that actor Matthew Tyler Vorst, who the publication said has been dating Eilish since April, also apologized for past racist and homophobic language in past social media posts.
In an Instagram post, the 29-year-old wrote: “I want to apologize for the things that I wrote on social media in the past. The language I used was hurtful and irresponsible and I understand how offensive those words are. Whether it was a lyric, a quote, or just me being dumb, it does not matter.”