Justin Timberlake apologizes for Jesse Williams BET Awards tweet

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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?


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