Billie Eilish has addressed racist accusations that were sparked after video resurfaced of her appearing to use a racial slur.
In the compilation video, which was posted last week by a TikTok user, a young Eilish repeats a derogatory term for Asian people while singing along to Tyler the Creator's 2011 song "Fish." In a statement posted Monday to her Instagram Story, the 19-year-old singer admitted she did not know what the term meant.
"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 labeled something that I am not," Eilish wrote, according to People. "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. I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word."
Eilish explained that she had never heard the slur before, as it had not been used by anyone in her family. The first time she had encountered the term was in "Fish."
"Regardless of the ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry," she continued.
Eilish also spoke out about allegations that she had used an accent that mocked Asian accents in another section of the video clip.
"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," Eilish explained. "It is absolutely gibberish and just me goofing around, and is in NO way 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, the "Bad Guy" singer said she did not intend for her actions to cause "hurt to others," adding that 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 inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity and equality," she said. "We all need to continue having conversations, listening and learning. I hear you and I love you."
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