Justin Timberlake took to Instagram on Friday (February 12) to apologize after the release of Framing Britney Spears, a New York Times documentary based on the trials and tribulations of Spears in her conservatorship and early 2000s downfall which became a lead topic for tabloids, late-night hosts and more. Timberlake helped contribute to the gossip after the release of his 2003 single “Cry Me A River” and the music video.
He also apologized to Janet Jackson, who saw her career endure controversy after her 2004 Super Bowl halftime performance where Timberlake exposed her breast in front of a global audience. He took time to apologize to Spears and Jackson “because I know and respect these women and I know I failed.”
In both instances, he walked away relatively unscathed and unshamed while his female counterparts, Spears in their relationship and Jackson after their performance, were shamed.
“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” he began, “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 added, “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.”
Timberlake concluded, “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…”
Spears herself responded to the documentary, writing, “Each person has their story and their take on other people’s stories !!!! We all have so many different bright beautiful lives !!! Remember, no matter what we think we know about a person’s life it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens!!!!”