A series of offensive and racist tweets from Shawn Mendes resurfaced recently, and a fan took him to task about it during a Q&A. "This is kind of a hard question, I don't want you to take any offense to it at all, I just kind of wanted to do it for black Twitter, black Shawn stans everywhere out there," the fan started. "In the past, there's a lot of kind of ignorant tweets, I guess I could say, kind of hurtful, offensive tweets that you'd tweeted before."
She noted that some of the pre-fame posts, which are mostly from 2012 and 2013, have since been deleted. "Why has it never been acknowledged? ... We get a lot of hate for us supporting you, knowing that this has been, like, your past. And not to say that this is you now, or anything like that, it's just really important for us to know, like, how you are," she asked.
"I just think that a lot of things just need to be moved on from," Mendes replied. "But I also think that the things that were saw, like I had friends when I was 14 who would, like, take my phone and, like, post things of them. Because they thought it was funny that I had like 2,000 followers and it was this big thing, and they'd post photos of themselves. 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, but um, yeah, totally. 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 posts reportedly saw Mendes tweet, "I can see the black coming out in you Lauren," "I'm black, burnt up ya knoe," and "Light skinned girls >>." He has also been accused of referring to a friend of his as "mah n***ah" in an Instagram post.
Following the initial question and his response, Mendes shared a message on Twitter to reiterate that he was regretful about the posts. "I posted some racially insensitive comments on social media when I was younger, and I am sorry," he wrote. "I apologize wholeheartedly for what was said & understand how offensive those posts were."
Last year Shawn Mendes felt the need to remind everyone he was straight amid speculation regarding his sexuality. He said there was a "massive, massive thing" about him possibly being gay, and it bothered him. “In the back of my heart, I feel like I need to go be seen with someone—like a girl—in public, to prove to people that I’m not gay,” Mendes explained.