Billie Eilish has apologized after a video surfaced appearing to show her mouthing a racist slur.
The Grammy-winning pop star, 19, 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.
In her apology, Eilish, the youngest artist to ever record a James Bond title track, said she was “13 or 14” in the videos and did not know 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.
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.”
Eilish said she did not mean to cause offence and the prospect 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.”