Justin Timberlake published a lengthy statement on Instagram Friday (February 12th) addressing the criticism he has faced since the release of Framing Britney Spears.
The “Cry Me A River” singer wrote, “I have 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 I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condons misogyny and racism.
“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, “The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. 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.”
New York Times' documentary, which first aired February 5th, follows the “Toxic” singer's career and at one point, highlighted Spears and Timberlake’s breakup in 2002. At the time, Timberlake fueled the rumors that their split was due to Spears’ infidelity with the music video for “Cry Me A River.”
Interview clips also showed the “Palmer” star bragging about sleeping with Spears, who at one point said she desired to remain a virgin until marriage.
Timberlake's apology was also directed to Janet Jackson, whose breast he exposed during a “wardrobe malfunction” during the XXXVIII Super Bowl Halftime show in 2004.
He wrote, “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 a part of a world that uplifts and supports.”