Justin Timberlake Called Out For Insensitive Comment

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Justin Timberlake believes the only race is the human race. The internet is not impressed.

Justin Timberlake has, in the past, received criticism for allegedly taking from black music and culture in order to build his own sound and style. After many of his Justified singles were written for Michael Jackson, and his debut music video basically looked like an MJ tribute, Timberlake did not impress many when he largely escaped criticism following his massively controversial Superbowl performance alongside Janet Jackson, where he infamously exposed her nipple. While Jackson took most of the public and media criticism, and many argued her career was never the same, Justin went largely unscathed and continued to achieve immense career success. Many believe Timberlake could’ve done more to defend her.

Tonight, a few tweets the 35-year-old Can’t Stop The Feeling singer made didn’t help his case. Upon viewing an acceptance speech made by Jessie Williams at the BET Awards – which addressed cultural appropriation – Justin tweeted the following:


None too happy with an #Inspired hashtag coming from Timberlake, a TV host/writer responded with this:


Who was then met with rather derisive response from JT:


Yikes.

The internet did what the internet does and set in on Timberlake, who hastily apologised:




When someone like Justin Timberlake – who has been accused of racism, musical and cultural appropriation for over a decade now – makes these comments, despite his intentions, it doesn’t look good. An explanation of why his sort of comment is often met with anger did the online rounds last year:

Imagine you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any! The problem is that the statement “I should get my fair share” had an implicit “too” at the end: “I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else.” But your dad’s response treated your statement as though you meant “only I should get my fair share”, which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that “everyone should get their fair share,” while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out. That’s the situation of the “black lives matter” movement. Culture, laws, the arts, religion, and everyone else repeatedly suggest that all lives should matter. Clearly, that message already abounds in our society. The problem is that, in practice, the world doesn’t work that way.

Do you think Justin was in the wrong with these tweets? Do you think he appropriates black music? Let us know in Exhale.