Billie Eilish ‘appalled and embarrassed’ by Asian slur in old clip

Billie Eilish poses as she arrives for the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena in London, Britain, February 18, 2020 REUTERS/Simon Dawson
Billie Eilish poses as she arrives for the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena in London, Britain, February 18, 2020 REUTERS/Simon Dawson

Billie Eilish has apologised after a video surfaced appearing to show her mouthing a racist slur.

The Grammy-winning pop star, 19, shared a lengthy statement on Instagram and said she was “appalled and embarrassed” by the clip.

An edited compilation video was posted to TikTok earlier this month. Eilish appeared to mouth an anti-Asian slur featured in Tyler The Creator’s 2011 song Fish.

The No Time To Die singer was also filmed speaking in various accents.

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.

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 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”.

She finished the statement by writing: “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.”