Justin Timberlake Receives Backlash For Jesse Williams Approval Tweet

Music News

Jesse Williams’ moving and politically charged Humanitarian Award speech at the 2016 BET Awards sent the audience and the Twittersphere into a frenzy. However, it was the tweet by Justin Timberlake that set the Internet ablaze.

The 35-year-old musician wrote late Sunday night (June 26) that he was “#inspired” by the Grey’s Anatomy actor’s remarks at the award show, in which he took several instances of racism in the United States to task and urged for a push in equality.

READ: Relive Jesse Williams’ Powerful BET Awards Acceptance Speech

“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…” he said at one point in his speech, which brought the crowd at L.A.’s Microsoft Theater to its feet.

A Twitter user Tweeted Timberlake asking if his co-sign of Williams’ speech means that he would “stop appropriating our music and culture,” to which the “Can’t Stop The Feeling” singer wrote, “Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation.”

JT’s response led to outrage on the site, with several  users asking him to acknowledge his privilege within the industry, as well as to not be so dismissive of some of the struggles blacks had to face. Many also wrote that he was still in hot water with the black community after the 2004 Super Bowl’s “Nipplegate” scandal involving Janet Jackson.

However, there were a ton of Twitter users who were confused about the backlash altogether. Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club even gave “Donkey Of The Day” on Monday (June 27) to anyone who criticized Timberlake for his tweets because he’s trying to incite a change, and change cannot happen if people won’t allow it to.

Timberlake apologized in a series of tweets soon after the backlash began, stating that he believes he was “misunderstood” because his tweet was not supposed to be taken as a general response.

READ: Justin Timberlake Brings The Positive Vibes In “Can’t Stop The Feeling” Video