BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Latin Americans are famous for their warm hospitality but even they might be reaching the breaking point with North American pop star Justin Bieber, who's managed to be a serial offender on his current tour of the region.
After ticking off Colombians and Brazilians earlier, the Canadian singer today is apologizing to Argentines offended by his treatment of their flag while on stage in Buenos Aires on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.
Videos from the performance show fans tossing two Argentine flags onto the stage. Most musicians on world tours usually hold up the flags in tribute to the country where they're performing.
But Bieber treated the flags like rags, using his shoes and then a microphone stand to sweep them off the stage.
The outrage from Argentines, who have gone to war in the past to defend their flag, soon followed.
So the Biebs, 19, took to Twitter today to express contrition in a series of tweets. He said he was "shocked" at the reaction to what happened, adding that fans throw stuff on stage all the time and usually his stagehands take it away so "no one gets hurt."
He said he thought this time the fans threw a shirt.
One tweet read, "it was a shirt. Im being told by my team it was a shirt but even if it was a flag I would never do anything to disrespect Argentina." This tweet was followed by "or the people of Argentina or the fans. Im so sorry for anyone who took my actions the wrong way and I hope you can forgive this mistake."
And finally, "so once again to the people of Argentina. Im sorry if that was taken the wrong way and im sorry for my mistake. I hope u can accept this."
Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, said Bieber will return to Argentina, but the Associated Press reporter in Buenos Aires pointed out that insulting Argentina's flag is a crime punishable by up to four years in prison.