Close
BRAND NEW ON E!
  • News/ 

    Justin Bieber Apologizes for Past Racist Joke: "I Didn't Understand the Power of Certain Words"

    Justin Bieber, Cannes Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Image

    Justin Bieber is apologizing after a video surfaced showing him telling a racist joke years ago.

    In the video obtained by TMZ and the UK Sun, the "Confident" crooner says, "Why are black people afraid of chainsaws?," following that with the punchline, "Run -----, n-----, n-----, n-----, n-----," along with some chainsaw noises.

    According to the Sun, the video was shot backstage at a promotional event while Bieber was filming his "Never Say Never" documentary in 2011.

    Following the release of the video by the British site and TMZ, Bieber released a statement, saying, "As a kid, I didn't understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt."

    NEWS: Justin Bieber hangs out with Rita Ora at Los Angeles nightclub

    Justin Bieber Dave M. Benett/VF14/WireImage

    "I thought it was ok to repeat hurtful words and jokes, but didn't realize at the time that it wasn't funny and that in fact my actions were continuing the ignorance," he continued. "Thanks to friends and family I learned from my mistakes and grew up and apologized for those wrongs. Now that these mistakes from the past have become public I need to apologize again to all those I have offended. I'm very sorry."

    "I take my friendships with people of all cultures very seriously and I apologize for offending or hurting anyone with my childish and inexcusable mistake. I was a kid then and I am a man now who knows my responsibility to the world and to not make that mistake again. Ignorance has no place in our society and I hope the sharing of my faults can prevent others from making the same mistake in the future.  I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say but telling the truth is always what's right. Five years ago I made a reckless and immature mistake and i'm grateful to those close to me who helped me learn those lessons as a young man. Once again....I'm sorry."

    The video's release comes on the heel's of the 20-year-old star's latest drama, in which he was investigated for attempted robbery after he allegedly attempted to steal a woman's cell phone after she took pictures of him.

    Following the incident, Bieber tweeted, "It is hard to defend myself and my privacy every moment of the day. Then to see rumors. The truth will set u free," along with a screengrab of a TMZ report stating that an employee at the arcade insisted that Bieber never tried to rob anybody.

    PHOTOS: Justin Bieber's best Instagrams and Twitpics

    RELATED VIDEOS:

    FROM AROUND THE WEB
    MORE ON EONLINE

    Selena Sizzles

    Check out her summery red carpet style!