In light of the new FX and New York Times-produced documentary Framing Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake has issued an apology about his general past behavior, specifically concerning Spears and Janet Jackson.
Timberlake continues to receive a swarm of backlash in regards to the music video for his 2002 hit, “Cry Me a River,” which is believed to have been written after his breakup with Spears, and vaguely accuses her of cheating. Framing Britney Spears also touches on the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” during Timberlake’s performance with Jackson at the 2004 Super Bowl, after which the latter was ridiculed while Justin was largely congratulated.
“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” the singer wrote on Instagram. “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 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 a 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.”
Well, an Instagram apology is better than no apology. As usual, we’re on Britney’s side here.