For years, people have been asking Justin Timberlake to take accountability. Black people want him to take some responsibility in the role he played in Janet Jackson’s 2004 “nipplegate,” when he infamously tugged at a piece of her Super Bowl costume, exposing her nipple to the entire world.
We’ll likely never know if that moment was staged or a “wardrobe malfunction,” as both Timberlake and Jackson claimed, but what we did see is that Jackson’s suffered professionally as a result. In the aftermath of the Super Bowl CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves intentionally set out to ruin Jackson’s career.
Meanwhile, Timberlake, with the help of capitalizing off of Black music, Black entertainers, and Black audiences was able to skyrocket into superstardom.
And others, particularly those in mainstream audiences, are reevaluating Timberlake’s contribution to the way Britney Spears was targeted and demonized in the media, all of which is being explored in a new documentary, Framing Britney Spears.
At the height of his career, he released “Cry Me A River,” with a Spears look-a-like. The song not to subtlety claims that Britney and Justin’s Mickey Mouse relationship ended because she cheated on him.
And according to Variety, at a time when Britney Spears told the public that she was waiting until marriage to have sex, Timberlake went on the radio and told the world that the two had slept together.
These incidents contributed to the villainization of Spears in the media and many believe it may have allowed the issues of her conservatorship to go unnoticed by the public.
People have been calling Timberlake to the mat for all of this and recently, on his Instagram, he decided to issue an apology to both Janet Jackson and Britney Spears.
In a post, he wrote: “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.”
Timberlake said he wants to learn and grow from the conversation people are having about his actions concerning the two women.
I’m of the mindset that it’s never too late to apologize for a wrong. Now it’s just time to see what Justin will do to show and prove his sincerity.
You can read his full apology below.