Billie Eilish is one of the biggest names in pop music, but even she isn’t above answering to her past mistakes on the internet.
The 19-year-old has shared a statement on the recently resurfaced video clip of her mouthing along to Tyler, the Creator’s 2011 track “Fish,” which contains a racist slur.
The clip, which Eilish said stems from when she was “13 or 14,” recently resurfaced by way of a video edit that also included a portion which some have alleged featured Eilish mocking accents.
According to Eilish, however, that part of the footage is being misrepresented.
“I love you guys, and many of you have been asking me to address this,” Eilish said in an Instagram Story update on Monday night. “And this is something that I WANT to address because I’m being labeled something that I am not.”
As for the “Fish” aspect of the video edit, Eilish said she wasn’t aware at that age that the word in question was a derogatory term used against members of the Asian community.
“I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word,” she said. “This song was the only time I’d ever heard that word as it was never used around me by anyone in my family.”
And while Eilish noted the “ignorance and age” of the clip, she added that “nothing excuses the fact that it was hurtful” to people.
“And for that I am sorry,” she said.
Addressing the other aspects of the video edit, Eilish said it shows her speaking in a “silly gibberish made-up voice” that has long been a staple of her life.
“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,” she said.
In closing, Eilish said it “absolutely breaks my heart” that the clips are being labeled in a way “that might cause people pain.” She also called for the continuation of these types of conversations, reminding fans that she’s “listening and learning” always.
“I not only believe in, but have always worked hard to use my platform to fight for inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity, and equality,” she said. “We all need to continue having conversations, listening and learning. I hear you and I love you.”
See Billie’s statement below: