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If we know anything about Twitter, it’s that it can really make or break a celeb. It’s the platform that’s launched countless comedians and bedroom singers, but it was also the reason the Oscars went hostless this year. Shawn Mendes is the latest public figure to feel the heat from past tweets and he addressed it . . .  somewhat.

At a recent tour Q&A in Montreal, a fan asked Shawn why he’s never acknowledged racially insensitive “kind of hurtful, offensive tweets,” adding that fans on Black Twitter wanted to be able to defend their support of him in light of those previous statements. Shawn blamed some of the tweets on friends who would take his phone and also his immaturity.


“I just think that a lot of things just need to be moved on from,” he said. “I had friends when I was 14 who would, like, take my phone and, post things of them because they thought it was funny that I had like 2,000 followers… At the time I was just, like, not thinking about it. I had no idea I was going to have 50 million followers. Which doesn’t make it any better.

“I mean, I apologize for everything insensitive I said in the past, but with that being said, yeah, I think that’s not my personality.”

The tweets and posts in question were mostly from 2012 and 2013 and have been deleted but allegedly include Mendes saying the N-word in reference to a friend, a post where he compared women of different skintones and other racially insensitive posts shared with his followers. There was also a Snapchat photo where Shawn, posing with messy hair, captioned it “I have an afro! lmao.”

Following Shawn’s response, some fans were glad he apologized for the tweets while many others were less than impressed with his attempt to blame the behaviour on his friends and felt he needed to take more responsibility for the activity on his account.