Billie Eilish apologises for ‘derogatory term’ against Asians after old video resurfaces: ‘I am appalled’

Updated on Jun 22, 2021 10:14 AM IST

Billie Eilish said that the video in which she mouthed an anti-Asian slur was made when she was in her early teens. She added that she did not know its meaning at the time and is ‘appalled and embarrassed’ to have used it.

Billie Eilish has issued a clarification and apology after an old video of hers resurfaced online.
Billie Eilish has issued a clarification and apology after an old video of hers resurfaced online.

Singer Billie Eilish apologised after an old video of her using an anti-Asian slur resurfaced online. The spliced video also has a clip of her speaking gibberish, which was seen as her mocking an Asian accent. She clarified that the second half of the video was ‘just (her) goofing around’.

Last week, Billie Eilish was at the centre of a controversy after a video of her singing along to Tyler, the Creator’s song Fish resurfaced online. She could be heard mouthing an anti-Asian slur.

On Tuesday, Billie took to Instagram to share a lengthy statement. “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,” she wrote.

“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 that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry,” she added.

Billie Eilish on Instagram Stories.
Billie Eilish on Instagram Stories.


Addressing the other half of the video, in which Billie was accused of mocking Asian accents, she clarified, “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. Anyone who knows me has seen me goofing around with voices my whole life.”

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“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 for inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity and equality. 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,” she concluded her note.

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