Justin Timberlake’s latest single, Take Back the Night, is gaining a lot of buzz — albeit not the kind he wished for: Members of the Take Back the Night Foundation, an anti-sexual assault and violence group, are threatening legal action following Timberlake’s improper use of the name.
“Everyone at Take Back the Night is really shocked, because normally, we get asked when people want to use the name,” said Katherine Koestner, executive director of Take Back the Night Foundation, in a statement to Radar Online. “Normally entities as large as Justin Timberlake do very kind and thoughtful things to support our cause.”
Koestner added members of the Take Back the Night Foundation are disturbed Timberlake not only used the name without permission, but also that he used the name for such a contradictory message.
“The lyrics are definitely very sexual and not at all clearly anti-sexual violence,” Koestner said. “‘Use me,” for example, is not a great phrase for anyone affiliated with the organization.”
Among other concerns, Koestner worries the title will mislead Internet searchers.
“All of a sudden on Wikipedia, ‘Take Back the Night’ has a different definition. That’s not been helpful.”
Following Koestner’s statements to Radar, Timberlake took more notice and released a personal statement:
Upon the release of my new single Take Back The Night, I was made aware of an organization of the same name called The Take Back The Night Foundation.
I wanted to take this opportunity to let all know that neither my song nor its lyrics have any association with the organization. As I’ve learned more about The Take Back The Night Foundation, I’m moved by its efforts to stop violence against women, create safe communities and encourage respectful relationships for women — Something we all should rally around.
It is my hope that this coincidence will bring more awareness to this cause.
Sounds like someone from Timberlake’s team definitely messed up when approving the song’s name. But, considering mistakes and coincidences happen, hopefully the singer and the Take Back the Night Foundation can start working together to find a mutually beneficial solution.