Justin Timberlake apologizes to Janet Jackson, Britney Spears for past actions

Timberlake wrote that he fell short in instances where he benefited from misogyny and racism

Justin Timberlake is making public amends to Janet Jackson and Britney Spears after days of withering backlash.

The “Cry Me A River” superstar started January on an artistic high as he released his new movie, Palmer. However, it is his deeds of the past, some of which are wrongs that are from 20 years, over his treatment of Jackson and Spears that has seen his name trend.

Janet Jackson Justin Timberlake Britney Spears thegrio.com
(Credit: Getty Images)

In 2002, Timberlake released his breakout song and video “Cry Me A River” after his breakup with the “Toxic” superstar in which Spears is accused of cheating on him. He used a Spears look-alike in the visual for the song, which peaked at #3 on Hot 100.

Timberlake and Jackson were part of the Super Bowl controversy in 2004, where he ripped a pastie off of her attire and exposed the “Control” singer’s nipple. He dubbed it a “wardrobe” malfunction, but Jackson’s career suffered, whereas Timberlake’s continued to soar and did not publicly stand up for the star.

In recent years, #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay has become prominent on social media during Super Bowl Sunday to highlight Jackson’s artistry and influence.

Super Bowl XXXVIII: Halftime Show
HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 1: Singers Janet Jackson and surprise guest Justin Timberlake perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers at Reliant Stadium on February 1, 2004 in Houston, Texas. At the end of the performance, Timberlake tore away a piece of Jackson’s outfit. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

He recognized his behavior in an Instagram post on Friday and acknowledged he benefited from misogyny and racism.

“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” he 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.”

The apology concluded with him declaring that he felt a need to respond, especially in light of the “Framing Britney Spears” documentary. It shed light on Spear’s rise and fall, including how Timberlake is perceived to have taken advantage of for his own benefit even as she suffered a public breakdown.

“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.”

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