Billie Eilish apologizes for anti-Asian slur, fans ask what about queerbaiting, 'blaccent'
Billie Eilish issued a public apology on Instagram on Monday, June 21 after videos of her mouthing an Asian slur and allegedly mocking Black accent surfaced online. The videos were reportedly from when she was around the age of 13 or 14. In one, Eilish could be heard allegedly mocking accents and in one particularl bit, she could be seen singing along to Tyler, The Creator's ‘Fish’ that includes the racial slur "c***k."
The 19-year-old pop star, in her online apology said that she was "appalled and embarrassed,” and that her actions made her want to “barf”. 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."
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"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 and used against members of the Asian community,” her statement shared on her Instagram Stories further said. "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,” she said. Eilish added, “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.”
"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," her statement continued. "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."
Online, fans did not feel the apology addressed everything. “Don’t go running back to billie eilish now since she posted that ‘apology’. sis left out the part about how she is dating a racist homophobe,” said one Twitter user. Another person tweeted, “So billie eilish made an apology but still hasn’t addressed the whole queer baiting thing… bestie do better.” In a similar vein, another person said, “Billie eilish said f*** gay people low-key that apology left a bunch of things out. The 'queerbaiting' and blaccent to name a few.”
One person tweeted, “I saw Billie Eilish’s apology. But what I’m frustrated with is that she didn’t address her boyfriend, the blaccent, the supposed queerbaiting, and the fact she thinks her fans are embarrassing.” Another tweet said, “So thank you @billieeilish for the semi apology and recognition to the situation but what about your boyfriend who has said racist slurs and homophobic comments what’s being down there… we need all not just this..?”
don’t go running back to billie eilish now since she posted that “apology”. sis left out the part about how she is dating a racist homophobe pic.twitter.com/lZGUENNdrM— dj luvs ringo (@itmademewild) June 22, 2021
so billie eilish made an apology but still hasn’t addressed the whole queer baiting thing… bestie do better— Amy☆彡 (@eyyymee) June 22, 2021
billie eilish said fuck gay people low-key 💀 that apology left a bunch of things out. The 'queerbaiting' and blaccent to name a few.— shiggy (@genyasglock) June 22, 2021
I saw Billie Eilish’s apology. But what I’m frustrated with is that she didn’t address her boyfriend, the blaccent, the supposed queerbaiting, and the fact she thinks her fans are embarrassing.— “BAD GUY” (@AnnaRose1684) June 22, 2021
So thank you @billieeilish for the semi apology and recognition to the situation but what about your boyfriend who has said racist slurs and homophobic comments what’s being down there… we need all not just this..? pic.twitter.com/wj04w18WX3— Tristan (@Tristan67613344) June 22, 2021
Earlier this month, promoting the release of her latest music video 'Lost Cause', Eilish curated a series of behind-the-scenes shots of herself and her dancers posing in lingerie and loungewear.
She was accused by many of queerbaiting - a marketing ploy that celebrities, TV and film writers and authors use to appeal to an LGBTQ+ audience by only hinting at queer stories or ideas but never actually confirming it or following through.
At the same time, old posts of Eilish’s rumored boyfriend Matthew Tyler Vorce resurfaced that were full of racist, homophobic, and fatphobic comments. Vorce later apologized, saying, “I want to apologise for the things that I wrote on social media in the past. The language I used was hurtful and irresponsible and I understand how offensive those words are.”