LOS ANGELES – Another day, another drama in the Bieber bubble.
The pop prince, 19, posted a picture on Instagram this week showing him in Brazil spray painting on a wall a monkey with a nose ring, earrings, a lip stud and necklace.
"This is my escape," he wrote.
Almost instantly Bieber was accused of having painted a "racist" monkey. The photograph drew over 12,000 comments from followers, many of whom let their disgust be known.
"Someone needs to deck him, seriously," one wrote, as another noted that "he's trying to be Chris Brown," while another scolded him: "Does he think we're all monkeys?"
Also unimpressed with the tagging were the police in Rio de Janeiro, who reportedly charged the star for vandalism. In Brazil, defacing a building can come with a fine or up to a year behind bars.
But ohers say the outcry is just another example of PC police gone wild.
"Musicians, and artists use offensive language in their music all the time," said publicist Angie Meyer. "How is this any worse?"
And given that Bieber posted the photo willingly, oblivious to any idea it may offend, crisis communications expert Glenn Selig says the singer may just need some extra image-control assistance.
"I do believe that Justin Bieber ought to be more aware of how his actions impact others because failing to do so puts you and your career in potential risk," added of The Publicity Agency. "Justin is clearly acting like someone who believes he can do no wrong ,and at some point he's likely in for a rude awakening."
In addition to the graffiti controversy, Beiber's Brazilian stay was also plagued by an array of controversies including cursing photographers, being kicked out of a prominent Rio hotel, and visiting a local brothel.
A rep for Bieber did not respond to a request for comment.
Danielle Jones-Wesley contributed to this report.