Justin Timberlake Apologizes Over BET Awards Tweet

TimberlakeWhen Justin Timberlake was called a hypocrite for praising Jesse Williams’ speech at the BET Awards, his response landed him in hot water. Timberlake said, “Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation. Bye.” When followers rightfully pointed out that the Williams’ point was that we are not in fact the same, Timberlake said he feels “misunderstood” and he “responded to a specific tweet that wasn’t meant to be a general response.”

One of Williams’ points was about cultural appropriation, with the star saying that white people are “extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment . . . 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.” Timberlake has long been accused of cultural appropriation, hence the hypocrisy of his support. Followers have said that more talented black R&B singers don’t get the same credit as the white superstar. They also pointed to his notorious Super Bowl performance with Janet Jackson, which resulted in her career suffering while his thrived.

It would be impossible to cite every example of cultural appropriation, because it’s endless. It’s no secret that just about all of what’s “cool” in white culture began with black culture, and we’ve consistently taken credit. For an easy, fun example of this, read this Buzzfeed article, entitled, “Vogue Thinks White People Invented the Big Booty Trend.” To quote “Hunger Games” actress Amandla Stenberg, “What would America be like if we loved black people as much as we loved black culture?”

While Justin Timberlake is a scapegoat for a larger issue, it goes without saying that he should perhaps be more in tune with the times, so as not to land in hot water. Twitter isn’t the problem, he is. But I am sure his intentions were pure, and it’s important to educate people, not bully them.

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