A fan’s rant against the evolution of teen heartthrob Justin Bieber was met with an allegation of racism.
Noting he “isn’t the same 16 year old boy anymore,” Instagram user iheartdabiebss condemned the influence of his current entourage.
“I just see this ‘team’ as a bad influence, and it KILLS me just thinking what if Justin goes down the wrong path and just messes up his career,” wrote the user. “I know he is a smart man, but I’m not so sure hanging around these type of people will keep him on the track of success.”
Written in the wake of an overblown retirement joke, the comment certainly has relevance in the context of Bieber’s recent behavior. No longer an innocent, fresh-faced kid, Bieber has spent the past year making headlines for his allegedly scandalous antics.
The singer responded to the comment early Thursday, and the route he selected for his response will only generate more buzz. Instead of simply refuting iheartdabiebss’ claims and pointing to the positive role his team plays in his career, Bieber accused the commenter of racism.
“It’s not your place to judge,” wrote Bieber in an Instagram post. “God put these people in my life for a reason, and just because they are African American that makes them a bad influence?? These are the people that I love and all of us are going to help make the world a better place.”
While no one can know the user’s precise intent or thought process when developing the rant (posted in full below), it is worth noting that she included no specific references, let alone attacks, to specific racial groups.
And though she did mention the black Khalil Underwood, she added, “I’m not picking out Khalil I taking (sic) to the whole ‘team’ in general.”