Justin Timberlake issues apology amid outcry over Britney Spears documentary

(Isa Foltin/Getty Images)

Justin Timberlake issued an apology to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson in an Instagram post on Friday after fans blasted the pop singer for his treatment of the artists, depicted in a recently released documentary.

Timberlake posted the apology statement Friday: “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 added: “The industry is flawed. 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.

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.”

Timberlake’s social media post comes a week after the release of “The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney,” the FX and Hulu documentary that takes a historical look at the circumstances that led to Spears’ conservatorship in 2008 and highlights the #FreeBritney movement of fans who want to see her released from it and given control of her life. The documentary aired an old interview when Timberlake spoke about sleeping with his former girlfriend and indicated that he ridiculed her by hiring a look-a-like for his “Cry Me a River” music video.”

And just three years ago when Timberlake was returning to the Super Bowl halftime show 14 years after a wardrobe malfunction with Jackson caused a national controversy, the decision triggered a backlash from women, minorities and others who felt Jackson was unfairly forced to pay a far higher price than Timberlake.

Related: Attorneys spar over powers held by Britney Spears’ father

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.