Justin Timberlake took to Instagram on Friday to apologize to fellow pop stars Britney Spears and Janet Jackson, stating that he has “benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism… as a man in a privileged position.”
“I have seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” Timberlake wrote in a statement posted to his Instagram account.
“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,” Timberlake continued. “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,” he wrote.
The pop star has been facing backlash from Spears’ fans after the release of the New York Times documentary, Framing Britney Spears, which follows her ascendance to fame and how she was treated by fellow celebrities along the way.
The documentary has apparently brought to light new details regarding Spears and Timberlake’s relationship between 1999 and 2002.
“The industry is flawed,” Timberlake continued. “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,” he added. “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.”
As for why Timberlake is apologizing to Jackson, one can safely surmise that it could be due to the infamous incident that took place during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, in which Timberlake ripped off a part of Jackson’s wardrobe, exposing her breast to millions on live television.
“I know this apology is a first step and doesn’t absolve the past,” Timberlake said. “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 people that I love and have loved. I can do better and I will do better,” he added.