Billie Eilish issues an apology for her use of an anti-Asian slur: ‘I am astounded and humiliated’
Billie Eilish is “appalled and embarrassed” by a racial slur she used in a resurfaced video years ago.
The “Bad Guy” singer penned a mea culpa on her Instagram Story on Monday, following the viral success of an edited compilation video in which she appears to use an offensive term from Tyler the Creator’s 2011 song “Fish.”
“I adore you guys, and many of you have asked me to address this, and this is something I WANT to address because I am being labeled as something I am not,” Eilish began her lengthy note.
Eilish explained that there is a video edit of her circulating from when she was “13 or 14” in which she “mouthed a word from a song that I was unaware was a derogatory term” used against members of the Asian community at the time.
“I am appalled and embarrassed that I ever mouthed that word,” Eilish, 19, continued. “This song was the first time I heard that word, as it was never used in my family. Whatever my ignorance or youth at the time, nothing excuses the fact that it was hurtful. And I apologize for that.”
Eilish also clarified that the “other video” in the “edited clip” was simply her speaking in a “silly gibberish made-up voice,” which many interpreted as a mocking Asian accent.
“Something I began doing as a child and have continued to do throughout my life when communicating with my pets, friends, and family,” she explained. “It is complete gibberish and is simply me having fun; it is NOT the slightest imitation of anyone or any language, accent, or culture.”
The singer of “Lovely” stated that the rumors about her being a racist break her heart.
“I not only believe in, but have always fought for, inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity, and equality,” Eilish concluded her apology. “We must all continue to engage in conversation, listening, and learning. I understand you and I adore you. We appreciate your time in reading this.”
Eilish’s apology comes just days after her boyfriend, Matthew Tyler Vorce, apologized for racist social media posts he made in the past. Eilish made no mention of Vorce’s apology in her letter.
“I am embarrassed and deeply remorseful for using them in any context. It is not how I was raised, nor is it what I stand for,” he wrote last week on Instagram. “I should not have used this language in the first place, and I will refrain from doing so in the future. I’m truly sorry for the distress I’ve caused.”