Singer and actor Justin Timberlake issued a public apology to his former girlfriend Britney Spears and singer Janet Jackson following the backlash stemming from the New York Times documentary “Framing Britney Spears”.
Timberlake, in a statement posted on his Instagram page on Friday, said he was “deeply sorry” and wanted to “take accountability” for the missteps that he says contributed to “a system that condones misogyny and racism.”
“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,” he wrote.
“I specifically want to apologise 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 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.
“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.”
New York Times’ revelatory new documentary, which first aired Feb. 5, highlights the rise and fall of Spears’ career, her mental health challenges, inappropriate treatment by unrelenting media and the discord over her conservatorship, controlled largely by her father, Jamie.
Fans took to social media to critise Justin Timberlake’s lack of compassion for Spears which was depicted in the documentary.
Timberlake and Spears dated for about three years before splitting up abruptly in 2002. Spears was questioned in the media about her virginity while Timberlake said he had slept with her and then wrote a song “Cry Me a River” in which he implied that she had cheated in the relationship.
Timberlake’s apology extended to Janet Jackson, who co-headlined the XXXVIII Super Bowl Halftime show with him.
At the end of the performance in 2004, Timberlake tugged on part of Jackson’s outfit, leading to a wardrobe malfunction briefly exposing her right breast in front of a TV audience of 140 million viewers.
The incident negatively affected Jackson’s career she was forced to apologize and spent the tour promoting her album that year answering questions about the incident. Timberlake went without expressing a public apology.
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