Usher, Justin Bieber's mentor and the man who discovered him, has spoken in support of his somewhat feckless protégé.
Usher has spoken out about Justin Bieber's racist videos.
Bieber has recently been caught up in a scandal after a US entertainment website obtained footage of then 14-year-old Bieber singing a racist parody of one of this songs 'One Less Lonely Girl'. Sufficient to say Bieber had replaced 'girl' with a highly offensive word beginning with the letter n. Bieber continued to joke about joining the Ku Klux Klan. In a separate video, also obtained by TMZ, Bieber makes a racist joke which was also filmed by one of his entourage.
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Usher posted a picture on Instagram of himself with a young Bieber and added a lengthy caption. Usher referred to Bieber's many troubles over recent years and claimed the 19-year-old "hasn't always chosen the path of his greatest potential." However, Usher wrote he did not believe Bieber was a racist and he simply put the jokes and song down to an error of judgement and youth. He wrote how Bieber "was a naïve child who did not understand the negative power and degradation that comes from playing with racial slurs."
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Bieber, after the news broke last week, issued an apology on Twitter for his past use of offensive language. He too claimed it was a youthful indiscretion and that he, at the time, had not understood the mean of such language. Bieber wrote "I apologise for offending or hurting anyone with my childish and inexcusable mistake." He also thanked those close to him for helping him "learn those lessons" as a young man.
Usher's full statement reads:
"At my core, I am a person that supports growth and understands without judgement, that growth often comes as a result of pain and continues effort. 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. 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."