It will take more than an apology – even a really good one – to mend the gaping holes in Justin Bieber’s reputation after the video of him using racist slurs and offensive humor was leaked. But maybe Justin’s mentor – that’s Usher, if you’ve missed the last five years in pop culture – can help?

Justin Bieber
According to Usher, Bieber doesn't deserve the racism-related backlash.

The rapper/producer stepped in on Saturday to defend his protégé. He did so, fittingly, via Instagram. Posting a picture of himself with the Biebz, Usher wrote the following (excellently worded) statement: "As I have watched Justin Bieber navigate difficult waters as a young man, I can tell you that he hasn't always chosen the path of his greatest potential, but he is unequivocally not a racist."

He adds, "What he was 5 years ago was a naive child who did not understand the negative power and degradation that comes from playing with racial slurs. What he is now is a young man faced with an opportunity to become his best self, an example to the millions of kids that follow him to not make the same mistakes."

Is it too late to save  Bieber's reputation?

That “path of greatest potential” part rings particularly true after a year of driving offences, frequent brushes with the law and just generally ridiculous behavior. In recent weeks however, it really looks like Bieber is making a bid to clean up his act – especially in the light of his apology, the first one we’ve heard from the singer. The list of people, who have voiced support for JB on the racism issue, so far includes sher, Whoopi Goldberg, Mike Tyson, Young Money, Floyd Mayweather and Souljah Boy, as well as countless teenagers, armed with Twitter accounts.

Watch the trailer for BIeber's biographical Believe, which flopped at the box office earlier this year.