It all started when Bieber posted a screenshot of Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album on his Instagram Story, writing, “Love this album.” People likely flooded the “Peaches” singer with messages as he deleted the post, replacing it with a lengthy note to his fans.
“I had no idea that the guy’s music I posted was recently found saying racist comments, as you know I don’t support or tolerate any sort of racism or discrimination. I had no idea, I sincerely apologize to anyone I offended,” Bieber began.
The 27-year-old reflected about his own “incredibly ignorant” use of the N-word as a kid, admitting he “said some very hurtful racist jokes that clearly were not funny.”
“I hurt a lot of people especially the Black people in my life but was fortunate enough to have had them educate me on the horrifying origin of the N-word,” Bieber continued. “This brings those painful memories back up, I will always take ownership for my ignorance and my past because I know that I am not that person. I know that I have apologized for this before but knowing that this is such a sensitive issue I believe it’s important to bring this up to hopefully educate people who may be ignorant to the topic of racism and how hurtful it is.”
Bieber was caught on video using the N-word at age 14. He’s repeatedly apologized over the past several years.
In February, a video of Wallen, 28, was leaked to TMZ that showed him using the same racial sur. (He was 27 at the time.) The “Whiskey Glasses” singer recently addressed the controversy, admitting he said the N-word at times in a “playful” way around a “certain group of friends.”
“I was around some of my friends, and we just, we say dumb stuff together,” Wallen told Good Morning America‘s Michael Strahan last month. “And it was — in our minds, it’s playful. I don’t know, that sounds ignorant, but that’s really where it came from. And it’s wrong.”
Wallen’s album Dangerous doesn’t exactly need Bieber’s endorsement. It’s the highest-selling and streaming album of the year. It broke records, spending 10 consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The majority of that time was spent at No. 1 after the racist video surfaced. Wallen said he donated around $500,000 to Black organizations.