Justin Timberlake apologised after he was accused of appropriating black culture

Justin timberlakeMichael Campanella/Getty ImagesJustin Timberlake apologised for a tweet he sent Sunday night.

Justin Timberlake found himself in some hot water after sending a tweet Sunday night.

The 35-year-old Grammy Award-winning musician was watching the 2016 BET Awards and sent the tweet after “Grey’s Anatomy” actor Jesse Williams’ Humanitarian Award acceptance speech.

Williams is involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, and dedicated the award to other civil rights organisers and activists around the county.

“Now, this award, this is not for me,” Williams said in his speech. “This is for the real organisers all over the country, activist civil rights attorneys, the parents, the teachers, the students who are realising that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do. All right? It’s kind of basic mathematics, the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.”

Timberlake took to Twitter to share his appreciation for Williams’ speech.

Another Twitter user, Ernest Owens, responded to Timberlake and said, “So does this mean you’re going to stop appropriating our music and culture? And apologise to Janet too.” That was in reference to Timberlake’s 2004 Super Bowl performance where he accidentally flashed Janet Jackon’s nipple to the audience.

Timberlake then responded, “Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realise that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation. Bye.”

That response led to some more backlash.

“If one cannot see the condescending tone in this tweet, you’re basically missing the larger issues altogether,” Owens said.

Timberlake later apologised for his reaction.

“I feel misunderstood,” he said. “I responded to a specific tweet that wasn’t meant to be a general response. I shouldn’t have responded anyway. I forget this forum sometimes. I was truly inspired by @iJesseWilliams speech because I really do feel that we are all one, a human race. I apologise to anyone that felt I was out of turn. I have nothing but love for you and all of us.”



Other Twitter users pointed out that this apology missed the point of Owen’s initial comment and Williams’ speech, which touched on the theme of cultural appropriation.

“We’re done watching 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 and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit,” Williams said. “The thing is, though…the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”

Owens said that’s exactly why he called Timberlake out on his comments.

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