Justin Bieber has apologized for an April Fool's Day joke that drew public backlash after he pretended wife Hailey Baldwin was pregnant on social media.
While it was meant in jest, it was a joke that many did not find funny.
"I didn't at all mean to be insensitive to people who can't have children," wrote Bieber. "A lot of people I know, their first go to prank on April fools is telling their parents they are pregnant to get a big reaction. But I will apologize anyway and take responsibility and say sorry to people who were offended."
April Fool's baby, baby, baby? Ohhh ...
The Canadian pop superstar posted an image of a sonogram with no caption to his Instagram on April 1. The post sent fans into a frenzy trying to determine if the pop star was seriously about to bring a baby Biebs into the world with his wife, model Hailey Baldwin.
His fans looked a bit closer at the Google-images-sourced photo that displayed a date of Feb. 2 above a rather large fetus, suggesting that Baldwin would be showing by now. She's not.
After some followers picked up on those details, he posted another photo of Baldwin in what appeared to be a doctor's office getting what looks like a baby bump checked out. This image solicited a host of congratulatory posts.
That is, until he posted another sonogram with a pooch photoshopped into the place of a fetus with the caption: "Wait omg is that a,,, APRIL FOOLS."
The online world was not laughing.
Infertility and miscarriage are no joke, and pregnancy pranks are not appreciated by many, as we wrote yesterday, before Bieber had posted the dog sonogram.
Infertility awareness week takes place later this month, and according to a recent study, one in six couples in Canada who want children struggle to conceive. A 2009 Harvard study found that 50 per cent of women and 15 per cent of men said that infertility was "the most upsetting experience of their lives."
One Instagram commenter wrote:
@xohailstormxo I'm 20 weeks and I am constantly terrified of losing my baby. So many people struggle with infertility and miscarriages, can we really not think up better a better April fools joke than pregnancy? Aside from it being incredibly insensitive, it's flat out unoriginal. Juss sayin'.
Bieber has not addressed the backlash, and all three posts remain on his Instagram page. It's not too late to say sorry. But it's definitely time to stop with the fake pregnancy news.
With a file from Maija Kappler.
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UPDATE - April 3, 2019: This post has been updated to include Justin Bieber's apology.
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