Justin Bieber has found himself in the center of controversy for playing an April Fools' Day joke many consider to be distasteful.
The singer, 25, came under fire after he posted a series of photos Monday indicating he and wife Hailey Bieber were expecting a baby. He initially posted a sonogram, which raised eyebrows.
The post had no comment, but Hailey Bieber wrote in the comments, “Very funny.”
Justin Bieber remained committed to the bit by later posting a series of photos of his wife being examined by a team of doctors while she touched her stomach.
“If U thought it was April fools,” he wrote, doubling down on anyone who may have doubted him.
The “Sorry” singer finally came clean in a third Instagram post, which included an image of a sonogram digitally enhanced with a puppy.
“Wait omg is that a,,, APRIL FOOLS,” he wrote.
His joke was met with criticism by people who chided him for not being sensitive to those who struggle to conceive.
“LISTEN, I DONT CARE IF YOU ARE JUSTIN BIEBER OR HAILEY BALDWIN, A FAKE PREGNANCY ANNOUNCEMENT IS NOT AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE,” one person wrote emphatically in caps on Twitter.
“justin bieber faking hailey being pregnant is... gross & insensitive,” another user wrote.
Bieber responded to the criticism on Tuesday with a lengthy post on Instagram.
"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. "I didn’t at all mean to be insensitive to people who can’t have children. 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."
Despite the explanation of his intentions, Bieber still issued a mea culpa.
"But I will apologize anyway and take responsibility and say sorry to people who were offended," he wrote. "I truly don’t want anyone to be hurt by a prank."
Even before the pop star went public with his joke, there was a movement urging people not to say they’re expecting a baby as an April Fools’ Day prank.
“We love a good laugh, but pregnancy is not an April Fools Joke,” Philadelphia-based Main Line Fertility posted on March 29, along with a photo of statistics reminding people that one out of eight people struggle to get pregnant, and one in four will lose a baby during pregnancy.
The celebrity is not the first to attempt such an April Fools’ Day joke.
Last year, former “Bachelor” star Arie Luyendyk Jr. found himself in hot water when he revealed he and fiancee Lauren Burnham — who's now his wife — were expecting, only to reveal he was kidding.
In November, Luyendyk and Burnham were on the level when they revealed that they do indeed have a baby on the way.