The 20-year-old pop star apologized Sunday for telling a racist joke in a recently resurfaced video of his 15-year-old self.
"I'm very sorry," Bieber said in a lengthy statement to TMZ. "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."
In the video, Bieber asks, "Why are black people afraid of chainsaws?"
"Don't even say it," someone asks.
"Run, n****r," Bieber says repeatedly.
Warning: The video below contains explicit and offensive language.
In his apology Sunday, Bieber said that "as a kid, 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."
"Ignorance has no place in our society and I hope the sharing of my faults can prevent others from making the same mistake in the future. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say but telling the truth is always what's right," he added.