"I'm being labeled something that I am not," says Billie Eilish, who says she's "appalled and embarrassed" by a years-old video clip that appears to show her mouthing a racial slur. An edited compilation video spreading online seems to show the seven-time Grammy winner mouthing a slur against Asian people, featured in Tyler, the Creator's 2011 song "Fish," and speaking in a tone some said was mocking of Asian people. In a statement posted to Instagram stories on Monday, the 19-year-old said she was 13 or 14 when "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," per People. "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," Eilish continued.
"Regardless of the ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry," Eilish wrote. As for the other criticism, the singer said she was "speaking in a silly gibberish made up voice" as she's done her whole life. It "is in NO way imitation of anyone or any language, accent, or culture in the SLIGHTEST." But "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." She added she has "always worked hard to use my platform to fight for inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity and equality" and encouraged fans to "continue having conversations, listening and learning." TMZ notes Tyler, the Creator "never received serious backlash" for using the anti-Asian slur in his song. (However, he was criticized for portraying racial stereotypes.)