Singer Justin Timberlake has issued an apology to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson in a lengthy social media post, following the backlash he got after the release of The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney, the FX and Hulu documentary.
In the post, Timberlake says that he wants to apologise to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson, “because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.”
“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.”, he wrote on Friday. “I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.”
While Framing Britney primarily focuses on the circumstances that led to Spears’ conservatorship in 2008 and highlights the #FreeBritney movement of fans, the documentary also aired an old interview when Timberlake proudly spoke about sleeping with Britney and hired a look-a-like for his ‘Cry Me a River’ music video; some actions that ultimately led Britney to be ridiculed and ruined her reputation. The documentary left Justin in a bad light, and fans have been demanding that he apologises to Britney for his ignorant behaviour.
Timberlake also apologised to singer Janet Jackson, for the incident back in 2004 during the Super Bowl halftime, where a wardrobe malfunction lost Jackson her entire career while Timberlake walked away without any consequence. Jackson fell victim to the racist and sexist nature in the society, and was forced to pay a way higher price than Timberlake, who benefitted from his white male privilege.
“The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success.”: Justin apologises to Janet Jackson
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
Fans were specially triggered during the 2018 Super Bowl, when Timberlake was again asked to perform in the Super Bowl Halftime, while Jackson almost lost her entire career. Fans even trended Jackson on twitter, with the hashtags #JusticeforJanet and #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay during the 2018 Super Bowl.
“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,” Timberlake continued in her post. “I care deeply about the wellbeing of the people I love and have loved. I can do better and I will do better.”