After coming under fire for YEARS for his TREATMENT of Janet Jackson after their Super Bowl debacle and recent claims of more sexism and misogyny cited in the Britney Spears’ documentary, Justin Timberlake apologizes to BOTH women.
“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” he wrote. “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.”
My thought process asks, why did it take 20 years to ‘see’ the messages and tags??
In both cases, his apology reaches back nearly 20 years: He and Spears dated when both were teen stars, and during that time he said publicly that he had slept with her (she’d claimed she was waiting until she was married), and later vaguely accused her of cheating on him — a narrative that played out in the video for his 2002 song “Cry Me a River,” which featured an actress who resembled Spears.
This situation resurfaced recently in the “Framing Britney Spears” documentary, which focuses on the conservatorship she has been under since 2008 but more broadly addresses the sexist and judgmental way she has been treated by the media and others throughout her career.
The Super Bowl scandal revolves around what Timberlake described as a “wardrobe malfunction,” in which he pulled back part of Jackson’s outfit and exposed her breast, causing mass public outcry and an aggressive investigation by the Federal Communication Commission. While the situation was never fully explained publicly, Jackson bore the brunt of the criticism while Timberlake — who was the one who pulled back her garment — managed largely to dodge responsibility and went on to become one of the world’s biggest music stars in the following years, and even returned as the Super Bowl halftime performer in 2018. By contrast, Jackson’s career took a serious hit in popularity and public opinion, and in many ways it never fully recovered.
Timberlake’s post concludes: “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.”
“Framing Britney Spears” producer-director Samantha Stark told Variety.last week that she did not approach Timberlake for a comment on his treatment of the singer. “We didn’t ask Justin Timberlake for comment, just like we didn’t ask a number of other people who appear in archival footage for comment,” she said. “Interviewees make points about the media coverage surrounding the breakup … Unlike other people who we did ask for comment, we don’t make any allegations against Justin. We simply let the footage play.”
Reps for Jackson & Spears’ CAMPS have yet to reply.
Now I have to tell you, after the Super Bowl incident, I WROTE Justin off YEARS ago. I did not even know the EXTENT of his actions towards Britney Spears went until recently seeing the DOCUMENTARY. While it is GREAT to FINALLY apologize, it still seems the APOLOGIES are 20 years too late and too futile of an attempt. The APOLOGY should be AS LOUD as the SILENCE that he benefited from for the past 20 years.
As big a PLATFORM that he has had ALL THESE YEARS, he had AMPLE opportunities to reach out to these ladies and to SPEAK OUT about the injustices they both have had to endure while his CAREER skyrocketed.
So…. I don’t know how to feel about this. It all seems TOO little TOO late….