Oct. 18,2010, 2010 -- When Justin Bieber shakes his head in pop exuberance, his golden mop top typically falls right back into place. But today, there are some proverbial hairs in the cross fire.
Blame the upheaval on what various websites have reported as an incident of inflammatory name-calling that seems to have occurred during a laser tag game in Richmond, British Columbia, last Friday. Bieber reportedly participated in that game.
ABC News.com has been told that Bieber's concert tonight at Rogers Arena in Vancouver will go on as scheduled.
Cpl. Annie Linteau, the media liason for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia, told ABCNews.com, "The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Richmond is investigating the incident, and we're speaking to a number of individuals who may have witnessed what happened on Friday." Linteau said the RCMP does not disclose identities until the person or persons are criminally charged. When the accused is under the age of 18, she said, identity is never revealed.
According to TMZ, a 12-year-old boy tossed a gay slur at Bieber, "and then put his hand out toward Bieber, and Bieber pushed it away as he left." TMZ reported that Bieber's rep has told police this story, and witnesses have backed it up.
TMZ also reported that "Bieber is telling friends he had no idea how hurtful these comments could be -- but even though he's a straight teenager, he now wants to take a stand against bullying and homophobia. We're told Bieber will be going public -- probably within the next week -- to lend his support to the anti-bullying campaign."
According to the Vancouver Sun, the 12-year-old's father told police that his son was assaulted by another boy at an arena in Richmond, a Vancouver suburb. The Canadian blog site site ZackTaylor.ca linked Bieber to the incident.
ZackTaylor.ca reported, "Supposedly, Justin and child got into an altercation while playing laser tag that resulted in Justin 'pushing' the boy." The information was attributed to a staff member at the facility.
That person described to ZackTaylor.ca how the 12-year old had surrounded "Justin in the corner with his other little friends and shooting him during the game with their laser guns. Justin did what any other person would do ... and was just trying to get away from getting shot at and accidentally hit the kid while running away."
ZackTaylor.ca reported there were "rumors" the boy had called Bieber a homosexual, but that "a friend of the father of the boy says this is not true," telling the website, "the kid never made any homophobic slurs towards Justin. That report is totally false." ZackTaylor.ca also reported that staff members at the facility also said no such comments were made.
However, TMZ said its sources say "Bieber's own people wanted to keep the specifics of the confrontation under wraps, but Justin felt it was important for people to know what happened."
TMZ had already reported that those investigating the incident have already concluded Bieber was not the instigator.
For Michael Levine, a Hollywood media watcher and author, the intense focus on the incident -- which he said has become a "soap opera" -- shows an almost desperate attempt by the media to create news, given "the extraordinary interest in this young man." Levine calls the incident "much ado about nothing."
"Bullying has always happened," said Ian Drew, senior music editor at Us Weeklly. "Still, young people need to be normal kids, or they'll wind up completely sheltered."
Bieber, meanwhile, tweeted Monday about his music: "MY WORLD Tour finally continues 2morrow in Vancouver. We had to get it going in Canada. Excited to get back to performing."