Mea culpa. Justin Timberlake expressed remorse for his past actions toward ex-girlfriend Britney Spears and Janet Jackson, whom he exposed during their 2004 Super Bowl halftime performance.
“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” Timberlake, 40, wrote in a lengthy statement shared via Instagram on Friday, February 12. “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.”
The Grammy winner then mentioned Spears, 39, and Jackson, 54, by name. “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 continued. “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.”
Timberlake went on to detail how the inner workings of Hollywood allowed his treatment of the songstresses to occur. “The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. It’s designed this way,” he noted. “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 it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again.”
The actor concluded by vowing to change his behavior: “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 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.”
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