Skip to main content

Justin Bieber apologizes for racist joke

By Dana Ford, CNN
updated 12:21 PM EDT, Mon June 2, 2014
The White House won't comment on a petition signed by more than 270,000 people asking for Justin Bieber to be deported for his alleged crimes. In January, Bieber was charged with driving under the influence in Miami and he also has a pending assault charge and separate vandalism charges for egging his neighbor's house. It's just the latest development in a series of troubles for the pop star. The White House won't comment on a petition signed by more than 270,000 people asking for Justin Bieber to be deported for his alleged crimes. In January, Bieber was charged with driving under the influence in Miami and he also has a pending assault charge and separate vandalism charges for egging his neighbor's house. It's just the latest development in a series of troubles for the pop star.
HIDE CAPTION
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
Justin Bieber's troubled timeline
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • TMZ posts video of 15-year-old Justin Bieber telling a racist joke
  • Now 20, he says he's sorry for the "childish and inexcusable mistake"
  • Bieber: "I was a kid then and I am a man now who knows my responsibility to the world"

(CNN) -- Justin Bieber was in serious damage control mode Sunday after a video of him telling a racist joke to friends surfaced.

In the video, posted to TMZ.com, the pop star, then 15, asks: "Why are black people afraid of chain saws?"

He answers his own question: "Run n*****, n*****, n*****, n*****," he says, imitating the sound of a chain saw. Then he laughs.

TMZ reported it got the video four years ago but decided against posting it then because of Bieber's age and because he "immediately told his friends what he did was stupid." It was reportedly shot backstage at a promotional event.

Justin Bieber apologizes for N-word joke

"As a young man, I didn't understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt. 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," Bieber, now 20, said in a statement.

Bieber being sued by photographer
Bieber accused of attempted robbery

He added: "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."

The video is the latest in a string of troubles for the star, who shot to fame as a fresh-faced teen.

There was a DUI arrest in Miami, an assault charge in Toronto and a felony vandalism probe in Los Angeles.

Also, the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating allegations that Bieber and other passengers aboard a charter flight from Canada to New Jersey's Teterboro Airport interfered with the flight crew.

None of the criminal charges that Bieber faces appear to threaten his freedom. Probation sentences, fines, community service and counseling are routinely given in such cases.

Opinion: Bieber, don't argue with the lawyers

CNN's Ed Payne and Michael Martinez contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Justin Bieber
updated 1:49 PM EDT, Tue July 8, 2014
Tom Hanks doesn't need to bring a present to a wedding. His dance moves are the gift that keeps on giving.
updated 12:21 PM EDT, Mon June 2, 2014
Justin Bieber was in serious damage control mode after a video of him telling a racist joke to friends surfaced.
updated 1:56 PM EDT, Tue March 11, 2014
Don't ask Justin Bieber about Selena Gomez. It's a touchy subject.
updated 3:55 PM EST, Thu March 6, 2014
A Florida court technician has the job of blurring Justin Bieber's private parts on jail video before you can see it.
updated 7:28 AM EST, Thu February 27, 2014
Police searching Justin Bieber's limo found illegal drugs and paraphernalia, a police report said.
updated 5:06 PM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
Justin Bieber's focusing on making new music in the hip-hop capital of Atlanta, while lawyers in three other cities prepare to defend him in court.
updated 8:24 PM EST, Thu January 30, 2014
Justin Bieber was under the influence of alcohol, pot and Xanax when police stopped him for drag racing in Miami Beach, police documents allege.
updated 10:01 AM EDT, Sat March 15, 2014
Several photographs of Justin Bieber showing his tattoos to police were released to the media.
updated 8:56 PM EST, Sat January 25, 2014
A rich kid gets pulled over driving a yellow Lamborghini in Miami Beach by police and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence while allegedly street racing.
updated 4:18 PM EST, Wed February 19, 2014
Judging by his mugshot, Justin Bieber didn't seem to be too bothered by his arrest.
updated 5:13 PM EST, Fri January 24, 2014
Pop star Justin Bieber was charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license.
updated 8:17 AM EST, Fri January 24, 2014
CNN's John Berman re-enacts the conversation Justin Bieber had with police during his arrest.
updated 9:11 PM EST, Wed February 26, 2014
Here's yet another time when I'm oh-so-thankful my kids are too young to a) be Justin Bieber fans and b) know anything about his arrest.
updated 5:33 PM EST, Thu February 6, 2014
See who's in the pop star's inner circle.
updated 5:53 PM EST, Sun January 26, 2014
Justin Bieber turned 19 on March 1. He won't be able to claim the "teen" in his pop star title for much longer.
updated 9:11 PM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Bieber was raised in a Christian household by his evangelical mother. Check out other stars who are religious.
ADVERTISEMENT