Its starting to feel a lot like 2002 in the media these days.
Headlines featuring Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake’s names have been a regular occurrence in the aftermath of the New York Time’s “Framing Britney Spears” special. The “Cry Me a River” star has come under fire as people have begun to hold him accountable for his actions following the couples break up in the early 00’s. The public scrutiny has had everyone revisiting Timberlake’s history, and another glaring blemish on his reputation, the 2004 Super Bowl starring Janet Jackson.
The father of 2 took his instagram this past week to address the overwhelming public outcry for him to apologize.
“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.”
Addressing Jackson and Spears directly, he said “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 famously shamed Spears publicly following their 2002 break up. The media painted the N’Sync alum as the victim, as he doubled down in his music and videos alluding that Spears had possibly cheated on him.
The backlash and misogyny Spears faced in the time immediately after was heavily covered in the Hulu documentary. Tabloids and television and radio personalities latched on to the ideas that Spears cheated, quickly painting her as bad person. This was the first major milestone in a series of events that lead to the star tumbling out of control and eventually being branded by the public as crazy and out of control.
A similar fate happened to Janet Jackson after her and Timberlake’s choreographed number during the 2004 Super Bowl left her breast exposed and her career tarnished. Very much American royalty in her own right, it seems like her decades long career and public adoration was no match for Timberlake’s squeaky clean pop appeal. The public quickly turned on her and blacklisted her while Timberlake went on bigger and bigger successes, even returning to the Super Bowl in 2018 for his own headlining set.
Jackson took to her social media early today to talk to her fans and share how thankful she is for her life and career. Those holding out for a response to Timberlake will have to wait a bit longer however, cause the “Miss You Much” star is only focusing on the positive.
Thank u 🖤🙏🏽🤗 pic.twitter.com/qSEcON2YoN— Janet Jackson (@JanetJackson) February 13, 2021
“I was at home just the other day by myself and I began to cry. I was crying because I was so thankful for all that God has blessed me with. All that he has given me. For Him being in my life.”
Jackson addressed the backlash in an interview with Oprah shortly after it happened in 2004. Now if only the NFL and MTV would apologize.