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Justin Bieber Apologizes For Racist Joke: ‘I Didn’t Understand the Power of Certain Words’

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(Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)

(Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)

By Radio.com Staff

According to Justin Bieber you should, ‘Never say never.” But it’s another N-word that’s getting the 20-year-old pop star in trouble.

Yesterday (June 1), footage from nearly three years ago leaked showing a then 15-year-old Bieber telling a racist joke with a punchline that featured him saying a derogatory term.

Related: Justin Bieber Gets an Assist from Migos on ‘Looking for You': Listen

In the clip, Bieber is seen saying, “Why are black people afraid of chain saws?” He then answers, “Run n—a, n—a, n—a, n—a,” before laughing.

The video, which was reportedly shot backstage at a promotional event,  was posted to TMZ yesterday. The site claims they received the video nearly four years ago but decided against posting it back then because of Bieber’s age. They said they also did not post it because he “immediately told his friends what he did was stupid.”

Hours after the video went live, Bieber took to Twitter to apologize for the joke. “As a young man, I didn’t understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt,” he wrote. “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.”

In the statement he also writes, “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.”

Related: Justin Bieber & Michael Jackson Collaboration Coming, Promises L.A. Reid

He also looks to own up to his past mistake, writing, “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.”

This follows a string of bad press stemming from some of Bieber’s worst behavior. Bieber is currently awaiting trial for driving under the influence in Miami. The trial has currently been delayed until July after his lawyers reportedly asked for more time to examine evidence and discuss whether to accept a possible plea deal. Bieber is also still awaiting word whether he’ll be charged with vandalism following a January incident in Calabasas, where he allegedly egged his neighbor’s home. 

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