Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish Apologizes for Mouthing Racial Slur in Resurfaced Video

"I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word," the 19-year-old singer wrote

In this Jan. 26, 2020, file photo, Billie Eilish poses in the press room with the awards for best album and best pop vocal album for "We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?", best song and record for "Bad Guy" and best new artist at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Billie Eilish has apologized after a video resurfaced of her appearing to mouth an anti-Asian slur from a rap song, writing that she is "appalled and embarrassed."

An edited compilation of the 19-year-old singer shared on TikTok last week appears to show her mouthing an anti-Asian slur while singing along to the 2011 song "Fish" by rapper Tyler, the Creator.

The Grammy Award winner responded with a statement on her Instagram story on Monday.

"I love you guys, and many of you have been asking me to address this. And this is something that I WANT to address because I'm being labeled something that I am not," she wrote. "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 and 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. Regardless of my ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact is that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry."

Another clip in the compilation appears to show her speaking in a mocking accent. She said that is not the case.

"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," she wrote in her statement. "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.

"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," she continued. "I not only believe in, but have always worked hard to use my platform to fight for inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity and equality."

Eilish's apology comes as Asian Americans have faced a surge in anti-Asian hate incidents and violence during the pandemic.

"We all need to continue having conversations, listening and learning," Eilish wrote. "I hear you and I love you. Thank you for taking the time to read this."

This story first appeared on More from Today:

Copyright Today Digital Originals
Contact Us