Justin Timberlake, the Hollywood actor and singer, apologised to pop-icon Britney Spears and Janet Jackson on Friday in the wake of accusations of sexism and misogyny against him.
The criticisms against Timberlake regarding his treatment towards his ex-girlfriend Spears started after the release of the Framing Britney Spears documentary from the New York Times that debuted on FX and Hulu last week.
In an Instagram post Timberlake 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.”
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A part of the documentary on Spears focuses on the media coverage of the singer as well as how others mistreated her. It featured an old interview where Timberlake spoke about sleeping with his former girlfriend and indicated that he ridiculed her by hiring a lookalike for his Cry Me a River music video. They dated between 1999 to 2002.
Soon after the release of this documentary, Spears’ fans started calling out Timberlake for contributing to Spears’ very public breakdown and abusing their relationship for his music videos, songs, and more.
In 2004, Timberlake drew for the 2004 Super Bowl controversy. During a performance with singer Janet Jackson, Timberlake had ripped off a part of her outfit exposing her breast. This led to an investigation by the Federal Communication Commission. While the incident was never fully explained, it was termed as a “wardrobe malfunction”.
“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,” he said. “I care deeply about the well-being of the people I love and have loved. I can do better and I will do better,” he wrote.
Jackson called the apology “a first step”.
The Framing Britney Spears documentary delves into the numerous circumstances that led to Spears’ conservatorship in 2008 and highlights the #FreeBritney movement of fans. A week after the film released on Thursday, a judge denied a request by Spears’s father to retain some of his rights over the pop star’s estate.
According to Guardian, the conservatorship had given Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, control over her estate, career, and other aspects of her personal life, including medical treatment, for the past 13 years.