Justin Bieber backed down Wednesday from comments he made praising country singer Morgan Wallen, who is facing backlash after video footage of him hurling a racial slur leaked on social media.
In a now-deleted Instagram Story, Bieber shared a photo of Wallen's album "Dangerous: The Double Album," writing, "Love this album." The post was met with widespread criticism, prompting the singer to issue an apology.
"I had no idea that the guy's music I posted was recently found saying racist comments, as you know I don't support or tolerate any sort of racism or discrimination," Bieber wrote in one slide. "I had no idea, I sincerely apologize to anyone I offended."
In another slide, Bieber admitted that, growing up, he did not fully understand racism.
"When I was a kid, I was incredibly ignorant and said some very hurtful racist jokes that were clearly not funny," Bieber said. "I hurt a lot of people especially the Black people in my life but was fortunate enough to have had them educate me on the horrifying origin of the N-word. This brings those painful memories back up, I will always take ownership for my ignorance and my past because I know I am not that person."
Although he did not specify what incident he was talking about, Bieber was caught up in controversy in 2014 when two videos surfaced of him saying a racial slur and mentioning the KKK, according to USA Today. He issued an apology but the public never forgot.
"I know that I have apologized for this before but knowing this is such a sensitive issue, I believe it's important to bring this up to hopefully educate people who may be ignorant to the topic of racism and how hurtful it is," Bieber continued in his Instagram Story, adding that he has "so much to learn."
Last month, it emerged that Wallen had checked himself into rehab after his own scandal, which he previously said occurred during a 72-hour bender. In a recent interview with "Good Morning America," he explained that after the incident he made the choice to go to rehab.
"For 30 days, I spent some time out in San Diego, California — you know, just tryin' to figure it out ... why am I acting this way? Do I have an alcohol problem? Do I have a deeper issue?" he shared.
In an apology video, Wallen further stated that, while he was doing the best he could to make amends for his actions, he could "only come to tell my truth, and — and that's all I know to do."
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