The SexyBack hitmaker has faced a backlash following the recent premiere of Hulu documentary Framing Britney Spears.
Timberlake was briefly featured in the film, highlighting how he capitalised on his 2002 break-up with Britney as he launched his solo career by boasting about taking the pop superstar’s virginity and fuelling rumours suggesting she had cheated on him with his hit song Cry Me A River, which featured a Britney lookalike in the accompanying music video.
Two years later, Timberlake hit headlines again for his role in Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl Halftime Show shocker, as he ripped off part of her corset and exposed her breast. The incident was blamed on a wardrobe malfunction, which Timberlake distanced himself from, leaving Jackson to bare the brunt of the fallout, plaguing her career ever since.
Now, the father-of-two has come to realise the error of his ways and has spoken out about the controversies in a candid post on Instagram.
In the note, uploaded on Friday, he wrote: “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.”
He went on: “I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.”
Telling followers he specifically wanted to apologise to Spears and Jackson individually, Timberlake explained: “because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.”
Admitting “everyone involved deserves better” and that “this is a larger conversation that I wholeheartedly want to be part of and grow from,” Timberlake blamed the culture of the entertainment industry for enabling such behaviour.
“The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. It’s designed this way,” the singer continued, acknowledging he is in a position of privilege.
“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 part of a world that uplifts and supports,” he concluded, promising: “I can do better and I will do better.”