Justin Bieber is hoping it’s not too late to say sorry for an April Fools’ Day prank about him expecting a baby (baby, baby, oh my god please don’t be real) with wife Hailey Baldwin.
The “Purpose” singer made the hearts of Belibers everywhere stop on Monday after posting a series of photos on Instagram, indicating that he was set to become a father at 25 years old and mere months into his marriage to the model.
He first shared a photo of an ultrasound without a caption that some people quickly detected was somewhat lazily lifted from Google ― the photo is the second image that appears on the search engine for ultrasound.
Baldwin even weighed in on the photo, adding “very funny” in the comments section, which seemed to confirm that Bieber was indeed pranking the internet.
But a follow-up post on his account featuring multiple photos of the “Drop The Mic” host touching her stomach in what looks like a medical facility fueled growing suspicions the couple might actually be expecting.
“If U thought it was April fools,” Bieber captioned the photo.
Alas, Bieber eventually revealed the photos were all a ruse and later shared the same initial photo of the ultrasound, except this time with a photoshopped puppy at the center.
“Wait omg is that a,,, APRIL FOOLS,” he wrote.
The pop star was clearly trying to tap into the spirit of April Fools’ Day, but his jokes sparked criticism from followers who were quick to note that the prank isn’t exactly hilarious to people struggling to become parents.
“PREGNANCY IS NOT A JOKE! There are MILLIONS of couples who are struggling with infertility and would do anything to have a child,” one person wrote on social media.
“Of course justin bieber will think a pregnancy announcement would be funny on April fools. esp so when 1 in 7 women have had a miscarriage. not to mention those suffering from infertility,” another Twitter user said.
“I’ve never been mad at @justinbieber but today I’m disappointed in him for posting a fake pregnancy announcement,” another fan wrote. “Honestly, not a funny joke when millions of women are struggling with infertility and other issues of the sort. Sad, @justinbieber.”
Bieber in an Instagram post on Tuesday offered an apology of a sort, saying that he “didn’t at all mean to be insensitive to people who can’t have children.”
“There’s always gonna be people offended, there’s also people who don’t take jokes very well, I am a prankster and it was APRIL FOOLS,” he wrote alongside a screenshot of a Fox News story about the backlash. “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. I truly don’t want anyone to be hurt by a prank.”
He then somewhat jarringly likened his pregnancy posts to another prank gone awry ― a time when he “shoved cake in my little sisters face for her birthday expecting her to laugh but she cried.”
“You sometimes just don’t know what will hurt someone’s feelings not to compare pregnancy with cake in the face but it’s just to paint the picture of not knowing what will offend,” he continued.
Other celebrities have posted pregnancy pranks on April Fools’ Day, with “Bachelor” alums Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Lauren Burnham facing similar backlash last year for joking that they were expecting their first child.