Fifteen-year-old Justin Bieber
TMZ Screenshot

TMZ on Sunday posted a video of a 15-year-old Justin Bieber, who is now 20, telling a racist joke to friends.

“Why are black people afraid of chain saws?” he asks in the video that first surfaced Sunday on a British pay site, TMZ reports. His punchline: “Run n—ger,” repeatedly saying the n-word while laughing.


The video was recorded backstage as part of a promotional event when he was 15 years old. TMZ says it obtained the video nearly four years ago, but decided not to post it because of his age. He also reportedly told his friends at the time that what he said was stupid. People connected to Bieber told TMZ that an African American was present at the time he told the joke.

When news broke that the video had surfaced, sources told TMZ that Bieber was remorseful, saying he was he was “frustrated and sad” and wants to address it publicly.

Read the entire letter at TMZ.

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