Justin Bieber Responds to Argentina Flag Controversy: "I'm Sorry for My Mistake"
UPDATE: Don't rage at him, Argentina -- Justin Bieber is very, very sorry. Days after the 19-year-old "Heartbreaker" singer unwittingly infuriated Argentine fans by appearing to sweep their flag offstage with his foot during a recent concert, he took to Twitter to issue an apology for the incident, which he says was just a big misunderstanding on his part.
"Heard about what is going on with me down in Argentina and I'm shocked. I love Argentina and have had some of the best shows of my tour there," he wrote in the first of a series of tweets on Wednesday, Nov. 13. "People throw stuff on my stage all show and I get it to the stage hands to get off so no one [gets] hurt."
He went on to say he thought the flag in question was a shirt. "I'm being told by my team it was a shirt but even if it was a flag I would never do anything to disrespect Argentina or the people of Argentina or the fans," he continued. "I'm so sorry for anyone who took my actions the wrong way and I hope you can forgive this mistake."
He continued: "So once again to the people of Argentina, I'm sorry if that was taken the wrong way and I'm sorry for my mistake. I hope u can accept this and I loved my time there performing for you and look forward to coming back. I gave my all and I know the fans did there too. Te amo."
That wasn't the end of the apology, though. "I would never do anything to disrespect my fans," he wrote. "I don't like having to defend myself, but this time it was needed as I mean no disrespect. So it is all love all around the world...and to all the beliebers ALL AROUND THE WORLD, I love you and thank you for always standing by me."
Videos of the incident have surfaced in which Bieber is singing to his fans when two Argentinian flags are tossed onto the stage. He then proceeds to sweep the items off stage with his shoes and the microphone pole. (In Argentina, disrespecting the flag is a crime worthy of punishment up to four years behind bars.)
The Argentine leg of Bieber's tour has been a rocky one. He had to leave his hotel Friday night due to a gaggle of girls destroying hotel property. "Unfortunately this has happened before," his rep commented to Us Weekly. "Too many fans show up and create a security issue, requiring Justin to find other accommodations."
On Sunday, the 19-year-old Canadian singer posted a selfie on Twitter posing with an IV drip preceding his show. Bieber, who did not want to disappoint fans, managed to perform for an hour before he apologetically announced, "I'm not feeling too good, I think I'm out of energy." He was then booed off stage.
The singer, who seemed to recoup by Monday, shared a photo with his manager Scooter Braun. The shot captured the two smiling and playing with a group of local children.