Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Russell Brand defends Justin Bieber after racist video: ‘He’s only a child’

The pop star has an ally in the British comedian and aspiring revolutionary

Justin Bieber has at least one friend left in Russell Brand, who has defended the pop star in the wake of two racist films that surfaced earlier this week.

“It was ages ago when he used to have that haircut,” he said. “You can’t do him for stuff he [has] done when he had that haircut.“

The latest clip, which sees the singer use the n word, was created when Bieber was 14. In it, he sings a racist version of his song, "One Less Lonely Girl", dubbing the word ‘girl’ with ‘n****r’.

“If I kill you, I’ll be part of the [white supremacist] KKK and there’ll be one less lonely n****r.”

The second film sees him making a joke about why black people are afraid of chainsaws, in which he also used the n-word.

“Why are black people afraid of chainsaws?” he asked, before continuing to deliver the punchline, “Run n****r, n****r, n****r, n****r, n****r.”

Bieber has since issued a public statement apologising for the film and “for offending or hurting anyone with my childish and inexcusable mistake”. He added that he “was a kid then and I am a man now who knows my responsibility to the world and not to make that mistake again”. He also shared a biblical verse about forgiveness and confessing to sins on his Instagram page.

The singer has been heavily criticised since the clip surfaced by both the media and fans. However, Brand thinks that he should be forgiven.

”Unless we’re going to explicitly say the role of celebrities is we're going to make them really, really famous and then we’re going to destroy them and rip them up in a public square with fish hooks, which, you know as long as you don't get round to me, I’m not against,” continued Brand.

“But we might as well own up to it if that is what we’re up to, otherwise just let him off. Of course it’s wrong to say the 'N-word', but he’s a child.”

Bieber's long-term mentor, Usher, has also defended the singer, maintaining that making mistakes is "part of life's process".

“I gave every bit of advice and always told him it was up to him if he really wanted this. Now that he has it, as an adult, it's his to manage,” he told Nylon magazine.

“Do I turn my head in shame based off of what I see, what I know? Nah, I don't because it's all part of life's process. Am I in it with him? Yeah.”

It’s been a challenging year for the singer, after being arrested for drunk drag racing in Miami, being caught smoking a dubious-looking cigarettes; and facing backlash for visiting Japan’s controversial Yasukuni Shrine, a site which honours convicted WWII war criminals.