Janet Jackson Speaks Out After Justin Timberlake's Apology

Justin Timberlake has come under fire in response to the 2021 documentary Framing Britney Spears, which included clips of him confirming that he had sex with Britney Spears, who had previously shared her desires to remain a virgin until marriage. Additionally, Timberlake was called out for exploiting their breakup to bolster his solo career. He implied that Spears cheated on him in his song "Cry Me a River," as well as in its music video.

The documentary illustrated that Spears wasn't the only female he seemingly threw under the bus to advance his career, mentioning the infamous 2004 Super Bowl Halftime show when Timberlake performed with Janet Jackson. He pulled off part of her costume, exposing her breast, and the term "wardrobe malfunction" was born. Soon after, The New York Times reported he was still scheduled to perform at the Grammys. However, Jackson, who was supposed to be a presenter, would "no longer appear." She had to "step down herself or be asked to step down."

In contrast, Timberlake attended and he won two Grammy Awards, one for his song "Cry Me a River" and another for his first solo album Justified. When Timberlake accepted his trophy, he apologized for the performance with Jackson, saying, "I know it's been a rough week on everybody. What occurred was unintentional, completely regrettable and I apologize if you guys are offended," per Rolling Stone.  Following the scandal, Timberlake's career flourished. However, Jackson has continued to suffer consequences.

Fans have supported Janet Jackson in 2021

In addition to outrage against Justin Timberlake for his treatment of Britney Spears and Janet Jackson, the Framing Britney Spears documentary has also led to an uprising of support for Jackson. According to People, Jackson's album Control is back on the Billboard charts, following its 35th anniversary. It hit the number-one spot on Apple's Top 40 US Pop Album chart and continued to remain in the Top 40 list.

In response to Control's renewed success, one fan tweeted, "We are so blessed to have you Janet in ours lives you are so special to all of us we your fans love always Congratulations on control being number one again after 35 years." Another fan slammed Timberlake, tweeting, "Janet's success has nothing to do with JT. It never did. It's the 35th anniversary of the Control album. Stop this nonsense. You're perpetuating the same bs that damaged her career in the first place."

Jackson herself responded to the love, admitting that she "began to cry," explaining that she was "so thankful." She said her fans were "so special" for "making Control number 1 once again after 35 years." Jackson told fans, "I never, never in a million years, I would never think that this would happen. I really appreciate you and I love you so, so much. Thank you." She didn't mention or even allude to Timberlake, but her words came on the heels of his very public apology where he mentioned her by name.

Justin Timberlake apologized to Janet Jackson

Justin Timberlake addressed the backlash against him with a lengthy Instagram post that he shared in February 2021. He began, "I've seen the messages, tags, comments and concerns and I want to respond." The *NSYNC alum claimed that he was "deeply sorry" for the incidents when he "contributed to the problem." After that 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."

"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," Timberlake claimed. It's unclear if he is simply trying to squash the backlash or if he plans to do more to right his wrongs. However, Jackson has not directly addressed his apology publicly and it's uncertain if she ever will