It was a good day for damage control as a five-year-old video surfaced of Justin Bieber telling a racist joke. CNN reports:

In the video, posted to TMZ.com, the pop star, then 15, asks: “Why are black people afraid of chain saws?”

He answers his own question: “Run n*****, n*****, n*****, n*****,” he says, imitating the sound of a chain saw. Then he laughs.

Bieber tweeted a lengthy apology for the video, which was retweeted 5,000 times in a minute and more than 30,000 times by the first half-hour.

The apology reads, in part:

As a kid, I didn’t understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt. 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.

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.

Fans seem more than ready to forgive and forget.