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Shawn Mendes took to his Instagram Story on Friday night to issue a written apology over what he called “racially insensitive comments” he had made on social media in the past.
The 21-year-old Canadian pop star posted his statement days after a fan flat-out asked him about his past remarks during a Q&A session that was posted online.
“I posted some racially insensitive comments on social media when I was younger, and I am so sorry,” Mendes wrote. “I apologize wholeheartedly for what was said & understand how offensive those posts were. There is no place for comments like that, and those words do not represent who I am. I stand for complete inclusivity, equality and love.”
A tweet reportedly posted on Mendes’ Twitter account in 2015 was soon deleted after accusations of racism. In 2012, a comment using the N-word was reportedly posted on Mendes’ Instagram account and then deleted as well. Another tweet directed at a fan that referenced skin color was reportedly posted on his Twitter account in 2013, and then also deleted following criticism.
Mendes has never acknowledged the specific posts. In the Q&A session, a fan asked him why, saying she was asking on behalf of “Black Twitter” and “Black Shawn Stans everywhere out there.” She also added, “We get a lot of hate for supporting you.”
“I just think that a lot of things just need to be moved on from, but I also think that the things that were saw, like I had friends when I was 14 who would like take my phone and like post things of them, because they thought it was funny that I had like 2,000 followers and it was a big thing, and they’d post photos of themselves,” Mendes replied. “And at the time, I was just like not thinking about it. I had no idea I was going to have 50 million followers, which doesn’t make it any better.”
“But yeah, totally, I apologize for everything insensitive that I said in the past,” he said. “But with that being said, yeah, I think that’s not my personality.”