Timberlake Apologizes to Britney, Janet Jackson

Under pressure, singer concedes he added to the mistreatment the two women faced
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2021 3:36 PM CST
Timberlake Tells Fellow Stars He's Sorry for Their Treatment
This combination photo shows, from left, Janet Jackson performing in 2018, Justin Timberlake performing during halftime of the Super Bowl in 2018, and Britney Spears performing in a concert in Taiwan in 2017.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Without being specific about the actions he regrets, singer Justin Timberlake told Janet Jackson and Britney Spears in an online post Friday that he's sorry for his contributions to "a system that condones misogyny and racism." Timberlake's Instagram post said he was responding to comments and concerns of others, CNN reports. "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," he wrote, adding, "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 has come under renewed criticism by fans and media over his conduct toward the women. Timberlake and Spears dated for several years. He costarred with Jackson in an infamous Super Bowl performance in 2004.

Super Bowl weekend prompted a new look at the halftime show's "wardrobe malfunction," when Timberlake pulled off Jackson's bodice onstage, exposing her breast. The event hurt Jackson's career, per NBC; Viacom removed her music from its channels and radio stations, and the Grammy Awards canceled her performance scheduled for the next week. Timberlake was not scratched from the show, and his career if anything received a boost. A new documentary about Spears has focused attention on Timberlake's behavior and brought calls for an apology. After their bad breakup, Spears became the butt of jokes while Timberlake boasted in an interview about having had sex with her. Timberlake's post Friday said he was apologizing because "everyone involved deserves better and most importantly, because this is a larger conversation that I wholeheartedly want to be a part of and grow from." (Read more Justin Timberlake stories.)

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