Pop star Ariana Grande has issued a lengthy statement apologizing for anti-America statements she made during a recent visit to a doughnut store, insisting she was simply expressing her frustration about the nation's obesity issue.
The Bang Bang hitmaker suffered a backlash online on Tuesday (07Jul15) after surveillance camera footage of her bakery run in Lake Elsinore, California went viral.
In the clip, obtained by TMZ.com, the singer and her new boyfriend, back-up dancer Ricky Alvarez, appeared to lick various sweet treats on the shop counter when employees weren't looking. The 22 year old then expressed her disgust when one worker brought out a tray of oversized doughnuts, prompting the Florida native to blurt out, "What the f**k is that? I hate Americans. I hate America."
Now Grande is attempting to clear up the controversy by claiming her comment was intended as a remark about the country's high child obesity rate and the dangers of overindulging.
She also notes that the doughnuts she appeared to lick were being purchased by her friend.
In the statement, she writes, "I am EXTREMELY proud to be an American and I've always made it clear that I love my country.
"What I said in a private moment with my friend, who was buying the donuts, was taken out of context and I am sorry for not using more discretion with my choice of words.
"As an advocate for healthy eating, food is very important to me and I sometimes get upset by how freely we as Americans eat and consume things without giving any thought to the consequences that it has on our health and society as a whole. The fact that the United States has the highest child obesity rate in the world frustrates me. We need to do more to educate ourselves and our children about the dangers of overeating and the poison that we put into our bodies. We need to demand more from our food industry.
"However I should have known better in how I expressed myself; and with my new responsibility to others as a public figure I will strive to be better."
Grande also addressed the cancellation of her show at the upcoming Major League Baseball All-Star Game Concert in Cincinnati, Ohio on Saturday (11Jul15), insisting it has nothing to do with her ant-America comments.
She adds, "As for why I cannot be at the MLB show, I have had emergency oral surgery and due to recovery I cannot attend the show. I hope to make it up to all those fans soon... That being said let me once again apologize if I have offended anyone with my poor choice of words."