Justin Timberlake apologizes for Jesse Williams BET Awards tweet


During last night’s BET Awards, actor and activist Jesse Williams gave a memorable speech after receiving the Humanitarian Award for his work in raising awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement. Justin Timberlake was inspired by Williams’ words and expressed as much with a direct tweet.

Here’s the Grey’s Anatomy star’s speech:

“We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, and we’re done wathcing and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us. Burying Black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil. Black gold… Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations, then stealing them, gentrifying our genius, then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though, just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”

Timberlake tweeted:

Writer Ernest Owens sounded off on this with the following, which included a reference to Timberlake’s Super Bowl performance in which he ripped a piece of Janet Jackson’s outfit, exposing a nipple:

At this point, Justin clapped back with a little sarcastic intensity:

This response fueled the fire, causing Timberlake to get hammered with a steady backlash. When the “Suit & Tie” singer realized the issue wasn’t going away, he attempted to explain himself and apologized for any misunderstandings in the process:

Do you think Timberlake should have apologized?


  • Bruja

    So does this mean you’re going to stop appropriating our music and culture? And apologize to Janet too.

    GTFO starting shit like this and take Lil Kim with you.

  • TA

    So. The BET awards is full of rich black people complaining about being repressed and having their culture stolen from them by whiteness.
    2-3 hours of them patting themselves on the back, awarding people for songs about gangs and rape and drugs and using the N word and singing about women being hoe’s and property to be used.

    Meanwhile around the world, millions of children are dying of starvation, AIDS, poverty that none of us can even comprehend. Women are allowed to be killed because their husbands decide they have disobeyed. Children are sold in to sex slavery as young as age 5.

    I wonder what we could achieve if we all came together, as one race, the human race, and didn’t segregate ourselves, being angry that someone who is white sang rap songs, or put braids in their hair, or punished someone with a different skin color because a crooked judicial system isn’t about fairness, but about money.
    I feel as if this mans speech created more anger and separateness, he didn’t inspire coming together.
    All lives matter, all of them. Let’s work together to solve the worlds problems.

    • Sanoga

      1000000% agree, thank you for saying this so well!

    • A.M.S.

      Precisely! United we stand. I am shocked this actor gave his angry speech. Did he forget our current president of America for 8 years is black? Plus, our planet needs our immediate attention. For example, the non GMO movement needs our focus. I’m sure the social engineers love it when humans are too busy focusing on anything other than how the planet, our food supply, our air, and water are being poisoned by beyond wealthy chemical companies. Glad Leonardo DiCaprio kept it real in his speech bringing our attention to climate change. That’s our real problem!

    • KJL

      Other atrocities around the globe do not negate the discrimination that happens in America. And who better to bring awareness than successful African Americans. We can come together as one race when racism and discrimination cease to exist. Until then, we will continue to bring awareness. If you don’t like it then maybe you should push back on the racists and discriminators rather than chastising people who are mistreated.

  • DanaD

    I really don’t know why celebs don’t have two twitters one their person controls and one that’s private. If they want something to the public one they should run it by their pr person first.

    • YourMom

      True. But I think its stupid they go back & apologize! I sure the hell wouldn’t! If you dont like what I say, then dont be a fan. At least you’d know what I stand for!! So sick of these celebs bending to what society says they should! Have a damn backbone. Oh, and btw, how was JT wrong???? But Jesse is right??

      • DanaD

        Agreed. It’s embarrassing how they tweet then delete stuff. How about they just think about how the public will react or stand by their opinions.

  • miss torres

    I don’t think he did something wrong, he clearly said he was INSPIRED by Jesse, why do they feel the need to hate on that?….btw can someone explain why does JT has to apologize to Janet for?

    • twelfthnight

      I’m ASSUMING they’re still referencing the superbowl incident from eons ago where he accidentally exposed her breast due to a costume malfunction that may or may not have been a publicity stunt.

  • LoLo

    There was nothing to apologize for. Justin’s tweet was about the human race. Everyone wants to be treated equally but when to referred to as the same it’s a problem. Music if for everyone, all lives matter. Go after someone who is downing you, not someone who is praising you. What a waste of energy.

  • ….

    What does he need to apologize for? I don’t understand.

    • MsAwesomePants

      Apparently because Justin Timberlake has “appropriated black music” and has made money from it, but he doesn’t “give credit” to black people for it. Seriously.

  • MsAwesomePants

    “Invention called whiteness” – is there a patent on this invention, or can we all use it?

    Jesse’s speech is the one that was unreal. I think Justin Timberlake had nothing to apologize for. It seems every time a white person speaks about a black person, people get up in arms. It’s idiotic, and it makes them look ignorant.

    • Al stuff

      It’s very easy for him to fan up racism for blacks when he’s comfortable in his nearly white skin. He’s an idiot.

  • Al stuff

    I feel like we live in a country where free speech is only a privilege if you’re black, and crime should not be punishable if you’re black. When did black people become so offended by nearly everything? The native Americans and mexicans were booted out and tormented just the same a long long time ago, and they don’t act like the world owes them shit. Hispanics get imprisoned just the same and live in high rates of poverty all over this country, and you don’t see them blaming white people for everything that goes wrong. They just get 3 jobs, or do the time, or whatever they have to do to get by. They don’t ask for recognition or apologies. In fact, cesar chavez just wanted a fkn bathroom on the farm. If you break the law, you deal with the police. Risk taken. Why don’t y’all get up in arms over black on black crime for once. The number 1 killer of black youth.

  • JohnnyMassacre

    JT and Timbaland* — a white and black dude made some of the best pop music we ever heard, and it was all about music not colour. Sorry spelling mistake.