Justin Timberlake Posts Apology To Britney Spears And Janet Jackson

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Justin Timberlake Posts Apology To Britney Spears And Janet Jackson

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Following renewed scrutiny in the wake of The New York Times Presents‘ new Framing Britney Spears documentary, which shines a light on the misogyny that the iconic pop star has faced over the course of her life and career, Justin Timberlake has finally offered a long-overdue apology to both Spears and Janet Jackson.

“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,” Timberlake states on Instagram. “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,” the post continues, adding, “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 and Spears dated for three years when they were both teen stars. After their infamous split in 2002, Timberlake bragged about having sex with Spears. The media largely blamed her for the breakup, and rumors of her infidelity were fueled further by the Spears lookalike in Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River” music video.

Timberlake’s apology also comes just a few days after this year’s Super Bowl. During the controversial 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, Timberlake pulled back part of Janet Jackson’s outfit and exposed her breast, causing a massive scandal that fell mostly on Jackson. (Timberlake later performed at the Super Bowl again in 2018.)

In his new statement, Timberlake writes, “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.” He concludes by promising, “I can do better and I will do better.” Read his full note below.

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…

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 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.

I care deeply about the wellbeing of the people I love and have loved. I can do better and I will do better.

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