Justin Timberlake has (finally) formally apologized to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson, after the New York Times Framing Britney Spears documentary prompted a public reckoning with how the music industry uses and discards women (and brought thousands of angry viewers to Timberlake’s mentions). In a Notes-app statement posted to Instagram, Timberlake wrote, “I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond. 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.”
Timberlake continues, “I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and know I failed.” He goes on to admit that his apology is only one part of a larger conversation about how the industry is “flawed” and “sets men, especially white men, up for success.” “As a man in a privileged position,” he explains, “I have to be vocal about this.” Timberlake concludes that he wants to now “take accountability” for his “missteps” and promises to “do better” moving forward. Neither Spears nor Jackson has yet responded to Timberlake’s apology.