British funnyman Ricky Gervais has expressed his sympathy for Justin Bieber in the aftermath of his racism scandal, insisting the troubled pop star is a victim of childhood stardom.
Bieber, 20, who shot to fame as a child star, has been under fire this week (beg02Jun14) following the publication of two videos which show him telling a vile racist joke and singing about joining hate group the Ku Klux Klan.
The footage was shot several years ago, when Bieber was a teenager, and Gervais is adamant the star's problems stem from growing up in the spotlight.
Speaking during a question-and-answer session at the Paley Center for Media in New York, Gervais told the crowd, "Honestly, if I am grounded, it's because I became famous when I was 40. I feel sorry for kids like Bieber, really I do, because he doesn't have a chance to not be like that... I think we forget he's a kid, not so much now, but he was a kid and he's going to make all his mistakes in public... We all do stupid things when we're teenagers and they're gone now... but for this generation, they're not gone, they're there forever."