billie eilish
Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic. HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 09: Billie Eilish attends the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California.

Over the past few days, videos of a young 13- or 14-year-old Billie Eilish have surfaced on TikTok appearing to show the singer using or mouthing a racial slur and making fun of non-English speakers. 

In one video, Eilish is seen singing along to Tyler the Creator’s song, “Fish,” which uses the anti-Asian slur “ch***.” In another, TikTokers allege Eilish is mocking and making fun of non-native English speakers’ accents. 

After fans called for the 19-year-old to address the viral clips, on Monday night Eilish posted a message to her 87 million-plus followers on Instagram. 

“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 began.

She then addressed the video, writing, “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.” 

“This song is the only time I’d ever heard that word as it was never used around me by anyone in my family,” Eilish continued. “Regardless of the ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry.”

Eilish then addressed the second video, in which people were claiming that she was mocking Asian people with an accent, calling this accusation “gibberish.”

“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 said. “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,” she explained, before adding, “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 inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity and equality,” Eilish finished. “We all need to continue having conversations, listening and learning. I hear you and I love you.”

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