The edited compilation was shared earlier this month on TikTok by user @lcxvy. Eilish can be seen mouthing some of the lyrics to “Fish,” a 2011 song by Tyler, the Creator, including an anti-Asian slur. The former Odd Future rapper is himself no stranger to lyrical controversies. In 2015, the United Kingdom’s Home Office cited lyrics from the album “Goblin,” on which “Fish” is a track, in banning the performer from the country for three to five years.
Eilish also addressed a second clip, where the TikTok user claimed the singer was using a derogatory, mock Asian accent, calling it “a silly gibberish made up voice… something i started doing as a kid and have done my whole life when talking to pets, friends, and family.” The pop singer, whose second studio album is due for release next month, added that “it is absolute gibberish and just me goofing around, and is in NO way an imitation of anyone or any language, accent, or culture in the SLIGHTEST.”
With hate crimes against Asian Americans in some of the country’s largest cities surging by 150 percent in 2020, discussions of America’s long history of anti-Asian racism have become increasingly prominent. In May, President Biden signed into law a bill meant to address the increasing number of attacks.
In a response to Eilish’s apology, TikTok user @lcxvy posted a second video, saying, “Guys look she finally addressed this !!!” and that it was “understandable and good she finally said something.”
While social media has allowed celebrities more and more opportunities to connect with their fans, it also has shown the potential to open them up to increased scrutiny, even back to when they possessed little fame or fortune. Just a week before, Eilish’s boyfriend, 29-year-old Matthew Tyler Vorce, took to Instagram Stories to issue his own apology for years-old social media posts that used offensive and hurtful language.
Eilish concluded her apology by vowing to continue to use her platform to “fight for inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity and equality.”