The Internet just about blew up on Sunday after a video surfaced of a 15-year-old Justin Bieber telling a racist joke.Bieber was quick to apologize, calling it a “childish and inexcusable mistake” in a statement to TMZ.
“I’m very sorry,” Bieber said shortly after the video leaked. “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.”
But the Internet was divided on whether or not that apology was enough. Over in the comments of our initial post, a veritable firestorm erupted, with user versatyle tha wildchyld saying: “its [sic] amazing how people will rationalize such behavior and then think that an [sic] public apology rectifies the issue, we excuse him because he is ‘famous,’ when we have people who are dying and losing their lives daily over such issues, such a mentality, because we as a people… as a country accept this as the ‘norm.’”
On Twitter, that sentiment was echoed by several users:
— Unnamed Insider (@Unnamedinsider) June 1, 2014
Oof Justin Bieber hopping on the racist celebrity train this week. When will entitled & privileged white boys stop using the n-word?
— Meaghan Allen (@meg_allen) June 1, 2014
Fellow MTV commenter e_hartley agreed, adding “[I] was horrified by the video when [I] saw it,” but there were also quite a few fans coming to his defense — and some big-name celebs, too.
As a black man I am telling the world that @justinbieber is not a racist. I have known him since he was 12 years old and I know his heart.
— Kenny Hamilton (@KennyHamilton) June 1, 2014
This latest Justin Bieber controversy feels like a fight with an ex-girlfriend: "WHY YOU GOTTA BE BRINGIN' UP OLD SHIT FROM 5 YEARS AGO?"
— Faith Choyce (@teamsexydork) June 1, 2014
#justinbieber as long as beliebers have something to say, haters can't do anything. We will always support you, no matter mistake.
— sandra elise (@sandrabieber4) June 1, 2014
Also sticking up for Justin were long-time friends Floyd Mayweather and Soulja Boy. Mayweather took to Twitter to say the “Boyfriend” singer has been “nothing but kind” to him and his family, while the rapper told TMZ that “Let the kid live. We all slip up, we all make mistakes. you know he’s not racist. If all his homies are black, he’s not racist.”
Justin has been nothing but kind to me, my daughters & sons over the years. We all make mistakes when we are young, it’s part of growing up.
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) June 2, 2014