Give Justin Bieber credit:
Just hours after a video leaked of the Bieber telling a racist joke at the age of 15, Justin has come out and issued a lengthy explanation and heartfelt apology for the incident.
"As a young man, I didn't understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt," Bieber told TMZ.
"I thought it was ok to repeat hurtful words and jokes, but didn't realize at the time that it wasn't funny and that in fact my actions were continuing the ignorance."
Justin went on to say thank his “friends and family” for helping him lean from mistakes and understands that he needs to “apologize again to all I have offended” now that one of those mistakes has become public.
"I'm very sorry," he continues. "I take my friendships with people of all cultures very seriously and I apologize for offending or hurting anyone with my childish and inexcusable mistake."
"I was a kid then and I am a man now who knows my responsibility to the world and to not make that mistake again."
Last week, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik were caught on camera using a similar racial epithet and the artists are getting flak for not apologizing for the word use.
"Ignorance has no place in our society and I hope the sharing of my faults can prevent others from making the same mistake in the future," Bieber added. "I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say but telling the truth is always what's right."
The star concluded:
"Five years ago I made a reckless and immature mistake and I'm grateful to those close to me who helped me learn those lessons as a young man. Once again....I'm sorry."
Straightforward. Immediate. From the heart.
Bravo, Justin. This is how you diffuse a scandal.