There’s no other artist who's as massive as Billie Eilish right now. The 19-year-old singer has skyrocketed to fame in the past couple of years, becoming No Time To Die’s youngest artist behind a theme song alongside her chart-topping music and award acclaim. But these days, the closer one gets to the top, the more susceptible they are to “cancel culture,” which Eilish is being exposed to now following the surfacing of insensitive videos.
This week, some clips of Billie Eilish have been passed around of the singer using a stereotypical “blaccent” and Asian accent, and mouthing the words of an Asian slur that starts with the letter 'c' from a Tyler The Creator song. They were allegedly filmed when she was 14 years old. Eilish has not commented specifically in response to the videos, but she did speak to the topic of internet hate during a Rolling Stone interview published this week.
I wish that I could tell the fans everything I think and feel and it wouldn’t live on the internet forever. And be spoken about and called problematic, or called whatever the fuck anybody wants to call any thoughts that a human has. The other sad thing is that they don’t actually know me. And I don’t really know them, but obviously we’re connected. The problem is you feel like you know somebody, but you don’t. And then it’s like, yeah. It’s just a lot.
Billie Eilish has long been an advocate of being close and personal with her fans, often stopping to talk with them on tour or going on Instagram Live to answer their questions and video chat with them one on one. These days, the singer is the biggest 19-year-old on the planet, and she recognizes she can no longer share everything. There’s also a larger microscope being placed on her as a whole, and anything she does and says could be recorded, kept and published, such as these video clips.
In addition to that, Billie Eilish’s alleged new boyfriend, Matthew Vorce, apologized this week for offensive posts said to have homophobic and racist language that fans reportedly dug up from his social media history. Many fans are hoping Billie Eilish will speak about the videos and apologize. Considering the artist’s Amazon Prime Day Show just dropped on Thursday, she may be discouraged to speak to it at this time.
Billie Eilish is clearly in a tough spot. Cancel culture has certainly affected some major names in Hollywood as well. James Gunn was originally fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after some old tweets of his were rediscovered. He was then hired for The Suicide Squad, and then Disney and Marvel brought him back for Vol. 3. Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars back in 2019 and has since spoken up to the problem with cancel culture expecting perfection from figures who are as human as anyone else.
We’ll have to see how Billie Eilish decides to handle her current situation, but per her Rolling Stone comments, it’s clear the artist is already aware of the power and fragility that comes with fame.