Oct. 20,2010, 2010 -- Teen singing sensation Justin Bieber, appearing before a crowd of screaming fans Tuesday night, had no comment about a recent laser tag game incident, according to local Canadian news media.
It was his first concert following what several websites reported as an incident of inflammatory name-calling that occurred during a game of laser tag in Richmond, British Columbia.
Bieber remained silent about the incident throughout the 90-minute concert and went on to perform in front of a sold-out crowd at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, according to The Globe and Mail newspaper.
Hours before his concert, Bieber tweeted: "Take the high road," the paper reported.
Bieber later tweeted that it "felt great to be back on stage," and he thanked his fans for their support as he heads to California for his next stop.
Incident Under Investigation
Cpl. Annie Linteau, the media liaison 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.
Bieber's Reps Quiet on Specifics
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 Weekly. "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."