After a video of Billie Eilish using an anti-Asian slur resurfaced she has officially issued an apology for her previous behavior, admitting she is “appalled and embarrassed,” and that it makes her “want to barf.”
In the compilation video published last week on TikTok, Eilish can be seen allegedly imitating various accents and mouthing an Asian racial slur used in Tyler the Creator’s 2011 song “Fish.” As the video spread, Eilish’s fans have been commenting on her accounts, asking her to make a statement. And on Monday she took to her Instagram story and finally did.
Addressing her fans with love - Eilish acknowledged their behest for her to comment on the matter, which she noted was already on her mind and “something that I WANT to address because i’m being labeled something that I am not.”
The GRAMMY winner, who is now 19, went on to explain that she was “13 or 14” when she made the video in question. Writing, “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.” And went on to confess to being “appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word.”
The singer-songwriter continued to explain that the 2011 song “was the only time I'd ever heard that word as it was never used around me by anyone in my family.” With that said she didn’t excuse her actions, noting that “regardless of my ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact is that it was hurtful, and for that i am sorry.”
Also featured in the video edit is a segment in which Eilish appears to be imitating, or mocking, an accent that is not her own. Eilish explained on Instagram, though, that what she was actually doing was something quite different.
“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 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,” she wrote. “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."
“I not only believe in, but have always worked hard to use my platform to fight for inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity and equality,” she continued. “We all need to continue having conversations, listening and learning. I hear you and I love you. Thank you for taking the time to read this.”
Read Eilish’s entire statement as seen on Instagram below.