“I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word,” the Grammy-winning singer said Monday night in an Instagram story.
Billie Eilish has responded to a resurfaced video that appears to show her mouthing an anti-Asian remark, apologizing for behavior that she says made her “want to barf.”
An edited compilation of several videos that was posted on TikTok last week appears to show the singer mouthing an Asian racial slur used in Tyler the Creator’s 2011 song “Fish” and imitating various accents. As the video spread on social media, Eilish’s fans have been commenting on her accounts, asking her to make a statement.
Eilish delivered on that request via her Instagram story on Monday night, writing: “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.”
“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,” Eilish continued. “I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word. 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 then addressed the video in which she appears to be mocking an accent, saying that the way she was speaking was a “gibberish” voice she has used since she was a child.
“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. 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 wrote. “Anyone who knows me has seen me goofing around with voices my whole life. 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 no in a way that might cause pain to people hearing it.”
Eilish ended the statement by encouraging her followers to “continue having conversations, listening and learning,” and said that she only wants to use her platform “to fight for inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity and equality.”