Justin Timberlake Image Credit: AP

After facing backlash for his role in the vilification of Britney Spears, which has been highlighted in a new documentary on the pop star, Justin Timberlake has now come out and apologized to his former girlfriend, along with fellow singer Janet Jackson.

Timberlake has landed hot water since the release of the New York Times backed documentary, ‘Framing Britney Spears’. Since its airing on FX, angry social media users have flooded Timberlake’s timeline with angry messages for his misogynistic behavior and smear campaign towards Spears in the aftermath of their highly publicised break-up in 2002.

Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears Image Credit: AP

Following the outrage, the ‘Sexy Back’ singer issued an apology to Spears, along with Jackson, who was also ‘victimised’ by Timberlake according to several fans of the veteran artist.

“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” Timberlake said in a statement released Friday on social media. “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 outrage on behalf of Spears also brought up Timberlake’s role in accidentally exposed Jackson’s breast by pulling away part of her costume during their performance at the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.

Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson at the Superbowl Halftime show in 2004 Image Credit: AP

Despite issuing multiple apologies, Jackson was not permitted to attend the Grammy Awards that year, while the Recording Academy welcomed Timberlake back after he agreed to apologise on air. Timberlake has also been invited back to the Super Bowl stage, while Jackson has not performed at another Super Bowl since.

“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,” Timberlake continued in his statement. “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. 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 singer further added: “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 a part of and grow from...

“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 a part of a world that uplifts and supports.” — With inputs from the Los Angeles Times