Billie Eilish apologises after video surfaced appearing to show her mouthing a racist slur

·2 min read
Billie Eilish (AP)
Billie Eilish (AP)

Billie Eilish has apologised after a video surfaced seeming to show her mouthing a racist slur.

An edited compilation video went viral on TikTok when it was posted earlier this month.

In the video, the Grammy-winning singer appears to mouth an anti-Asian slur featured in Tyler, the Creator’s 2011 song Fish, and is filmed using an accent that was interpreted by many as mocking Asian people.

As the video continued to spread across social media fans of the star commented on her accounts asking her to make a statement.

On Monday, the 19-year-old addressed the issue in a lengthy statement on Instagram Stories, saying she was “appalled and embarrassed” by the clip.

She wrote: “I love you guys, and many of you have been asking me to address this. And this is something that I WANT to address because I’m being labeled something that I am not.”

In her apology, Ms Eilish said she was “13 or 14” in the videos and wasn’t aware that the slur was a derogatory term at the time.

“I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word,” she wrote.

“This song was the only time I’d ever heard that word as it was never used around me by anyone in my family.

“Regardless of my ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact is that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry.”

The LA native said footage of her imitating accents was her speaking in a “silly gibberish made up voice”, something she has done since she was a child.

She added: “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.”

The pop star added that she did not mean to cause offence and the idea of causing people hurt “absolutely breaks my heart”.

“I not only believe in, but have always worked hard to use my platform to fight for inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity and equality,” she wrote.

“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.”

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