- 22 Jun 21
19-year-old Eilish was “13 or 14” in the video and was unaware the anti-Asian slur was a derogatory term.
Billie Eilish has issued an apology in a statement shared after a video resurfaced appearing to show the Grammy-winning pop star mouthing a racist slur.
The teen sensation shared a lengthy statement to Instagram Stories, writing that she was “appalled and embarrassed” by the clip.
An edited compilation video is being shared on TikTok, where it was posted earlier this month. In the video, Eilish appears to mouth an anti-Asian slur featured in Tyler, the Creator’s 2011 song 'Fish', and is filmed speaking in an affected voice.
It's worth noting that Eilish was just “13 or 14” in the old videos and was unaware at the time the slur was a derogatory term.
“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.”
Eilish 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.
“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.”
Eilish said she did not mean to cause offence and the prospect of causing Asian communities 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.”
billie via instagram stories pic.twitter.com/dF2UMzKS5r
— billie eilish source (@billiesource) June 22, 2021
The singer-songwriter, producer and director's sophomore album Happier Than Ever is due to land on July 30 after the release of her latest single 'Lost Cause'.
Revisit Billie's Hot Press cover interview from August 2019 ahead of her Electric Picnic appearance here.