Justin Timberlake has apologised to both Britney Spears and Janet Jackson in a new statement.
The singer explained that he wanted to apologise to both women individually ‘because I care for and respect women and I know I failed’.
Timberlake, 40, made the statement in response to ‘the messages, tags, comments and concerns’ he has received recently.
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 many others and benefitted from a system that condones misogyny and racism.
Timberlake went on to explain that he felt compelled to respond partly 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’.
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 recognize it for all it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again.
Timberlake admitted he has ‘not been perfect in navigating all this’ throughout his career, and that he understands his apology is a ‘first step and doesn’t absolve the past’.
I want to take accountability for all my own missteps in all of this as well as be part of a world that uplifts and supports.
I care deeply about the wellbeing of the people I love and have loved. I can do better and I will do better.
justin timberlake finally apologizing to britney and janet isn't something that i'd think see happen. pic.twitter.com/3FwMfjDmPL
— Openly Black-ish And Racially Ambiguous (@Connichameleon2) February 12, 2021
This apology comes after a new documentary about Spears prompted a backlash against Timberlake, with many people pressing him to apologise for the way he treated her during and after their three year relationship.
lol, justin timberlake take your trolls song money and cry me a river pic.twitter.com/vonnyE7g8T
— alex (@alex_abads) February 12, 2021
The documentary, titled Framing Britney Spears, details how Timberlake framed the narrative of their highly publicized break-up in his favour. For example, using a Spears lookalike in his accusatory music video, Cry Me A River.
justin timberlake i can assure you it’s never gonna be may again if i have anything to say about it
— Naomi (@flurtcobain) February 9, 2021
The documentary also covers how Timberlake weaponised the tabloid obsessions with Spears’ virginity to further his own career, making comments about having had sex with her during interviews and slut shaming her.
So I’ve watched this documentary and here are my thoughts: 1) I feel so sorry for her. 2) The media/tabloids can truly be vulturous and scathing. 3) F*ck Justin Timberlake. 2) F*ck Diane Sawyer. 4) F*CK JAMIE SPEARS!!! #FreeBritney pic.twitter.com/1x5ktFcwmk
— Jerlandrick Barnett (@JBiddy19) February 9, 2021
Timberlake has also previously been criticised for his past behaviour towards Jackson. While appearing together at the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, Timberlake pulled away part of Jackson’s outfit, exposing her right breast before a TV audience of 140 million viewers.
The New York Times’ documentary Framing Britney Spears was released in the US on FX and Hulu on Friday February 5. The film has not yet arrived in the UK, and a release date has not yet been confirmed at the time of writing.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.