A week after the premiere of Hulu’s documentary, Framing Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake apologized to Britney Spears for the “misogyny” he exhibited while they dated.
The former NSYNC member took to his Instagram on Friday, February 12, to apologize to Britney for the way he behaved throughout their relationship. Timberlake also apologized to Janet Jackson for how he handled her “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl. “I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” 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.”
He continued, “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.”
Britney and Timberlake dated in 1999. Interest in their relationship resurfaced after the release of Framing Britney Spears, which explored how Timberlake contributed to Britney’s war with them media and her negative public image at the time. After the documentary, many fans criticized Timberlake for accusing Britney of cheating on him in the music video for his 2002 song, “Cry Me a River,” which featured an actress who looked like Britney. Many fans also slammed Timberlake to publicly telling a radio station at the time that he had sex with Britney after she stated that she was waiting until marriage.
The conversation around Timberlake’s treatment of Britney also resurfaced criticism around the his 2004 Super Bowl performance with Jackson, where he pulled back a part of her outfit and exposed her breast. The moment led to an investigation by the Federal Communication Commission. Many criticized Timberlake for remaining silent on the incident, while Jackson bore the brunt of the backlash.
“I also feel compelled to respond, in part because everyone involved deserves better and more importantly, because this is a larger conversation that I wholeheartedly want to be a part of and grow from,” Timberlake wrote in his Instagram post on Friday.
He continued, “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 I was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again.
Timberlake ended his statement by vowing to do better. “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 my past,” he wrote. “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 continued, “I care deeply about the wellbeing of the people I love and have loved. I can do better and I will do better.”
Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.