After many years of silence, Justin Timberlake has finally issued an apology to both Britney Spears and Janet Jackson.
A reminder of Timberlake’s misogynistic past resurfaced recently as per the release of The New York Times’ documentary, Framing Britney Spears.
Timberlake and Spears dated around two decades ago and during their relationship, he had spoken publicly on sleeping with Spears and also once alluded to the fact that he was accusing her of cheating on him.
Which then supposedly sparked the creation of the music video for ‘Cry Me A River’, as per Variety.
In the case of Janet Jackson, during the 2004 Super Bowl, everyone remembers that specific moment where Timberlake removed part of Jackson’s outfit, showing her breast.
That performance will always be one to remember – but not for the right reasons. The performance had long-lasting negative effects on Jackson’s career, while Timberlake never really experienced the same.
While that part of the performance commanded an investigation by the Federal Communication Commission and remains in question today, the latter regarding their careers is true.
In light of his past, Timberlake took to social media to issue a statement, apologising to both Spears and Jackson.
He shared, “I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond. I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right. I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.
“I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.”
“I also feel compelled to respond, in part, because everyone involved deserves better and most importantly, because this is a larger conversation that I wholeheartedly want to be part of and grow from.”
Timberlake continued, “The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men up for success. It’s designed this way. As a man in a privileged position I have to be vocal about this. Because of my ignorance, I didn’t recognise it for all that it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again.”
“I have not been perfect in navigating all of this throughout my career. I know this apology is a first step and doesn’t absolve the past. I want to take accountability for my own missteps in all of this as well as be part of a world that uplifts and supports.
He concluded, “I care deeply about the wellbeing of the people I love and have loved. I can do better and I will do better.”