Article updated on 15/02/2021: Janet Jackson has responded to Justin Timberlake's public apology, 17 years after their controversial Super Bowl performance.
At the 2004 sporting event, the pair performed at the Halftime show and a dance move resulted in Timberlake exposing one Jackson's breasts on stage (it was later dubbed a 'wardrobe malfunction') and her songs being banned from the radio, while Timberlake's reputation remained relatively untarnished.
Following the airing of Hulu’s Framing Britney Spears film earlier this month, the 'Cry Me A River' singer took to Instagram on Friday, February 12 to issue a public apology to his ex girlfriend, Britney Spears, and Jackson for his actions over the years, including him failing to 'speak up for what was right'.
In a video message published to Twitter on Saturday, February 13, Jackson expressed her gratitude to her fans for the outpouring of support and kindness she received following Timberlake's apology.
While the 54-year-old musician didn't directly refer to Timberlake’s statement in her Twitter response, she used her platform to describe how blessed she felt over the change in public opinion over the years.
'I was at home just the other day by myself and I began to cry, I was crying because I was so thankful for all that God has blessed me with, all that he has given me and I’m so thankful for him being in my life, and I’m so thankful for all of you being in my life, [sic]' she tweeted.
The singer also remarked on the reignited success of her 1986 album Control.
'I never, never in a million years, I would never think that this would happen, Jackson continued. 'I really appreciate you and I love you so, so much. Thank you.'
Article originally published on 12/02/2021: Justin Timberlake has issued a public apology to his ex-girlfriend Britney Spears and singer Janet Jackson after receiving backlash following the release of Hulu’s Framing Britney Spears film.
Last week, the US channel aired the film as part of 'The New York Time Presents' series, which explores Spears’ rising fame as a pop singer in the late 1990s, the media scrutiny she endured and the #FreeBritney movement amid her ongoing conservatorship battle.
The film also sheds light on the media’s attention to Spears’ virginity in the early days of her career and the different ways Timberlake and Spears – who were in a relationship between 1998 and 2002 – were treated in the press, with the ‘Baby, One More Time’ singer shamed while Timberlake was revered.
On Friday, the father-of-two took to Instagram to make a public statement about his actions in the past and apologised to two of the most prolific pop stars of the 21st Century.
‘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,’ an excerpt of the statement reads.
‘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 apologise to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.'
The singer-cum-actor continued, noting that ‘the industry is flawed’, adding: ‘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.’
Timberlake noted that he doesn’t want to benefit from the downfall of others, writing that he has not been ‘perfect’ in his 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 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,’ he concluded his statement.
The news comes a day after a judge declared that Jamie Spears, Britney’s father, will no longer be the sole conservator of her finances amid an ongoing ‘conservatorship’ battle that has received growing attention in recent weeks.
Last week, the release of Framing Britney Spears sparked a social media backlash against Timberlake, with some Twitter users claiming he was ‘disgusting’ and a ‘villain’ as, the Indy100 reports, the ‘Rock Your Body’ signer ‘stayed largely silent when his ex was under intense media scrutiny years later’.
‘Justin Timberlake deserves all the heat he’s getting... and that’s that on that, [sic]’ one user tweeted.
‘Justin Timberlake is a damn villain. What he did to Britney, Janet, etc. He’s disgusting. [sic],’ one added.
Justin Timberlake deserves all the heat he’s getting... and that’s that on that. #FramingBritney
— daken stan account. (@unimpressedfave) February 7, 2021
Following the Super Bowl LV on Sunday, February 7, others took the opportunity to bring up Timberlake’s 2004 Super Bowl performance with Jackson during which the ‘All For You’ singer’s breast was exposed in a dance routine, resulting in the public shaming of the star.
‘Justin Timberlake getting dragged during Super Bowl weekend is beautiful redemption, [sic]' one user wrote.
'The ascent of justin timberlake in the wreckage of both britney spears and janet jackson is really something we have to answer for, [sic]' added another.
— Brittny Pierre (@sleep2dream) February 7, 2021
the ascent of justin timberlake in the wreckage of both britney spears and janet jackson is really something we have to answer for
— Terron Moore (@Terr) February 6, 2021
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