Justin Timberlake Apologises After Being Slammed For “Racially Insensitive” Tweet
At the BET awards this weekend, Grey’s Anatomy actor Jesse Williams was awarded the Humanitarian Award.
He made a powerful acceptance speech, dedicating his award to activists, civil rights attorneys, parents, teachers, and “the students that are realising that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do”.
He attacked cultural appropriation, denounced critics of the Black Lives Matter movement and spoke powerfully on black women, as well as making a striking point on police racism:
“What weve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So whats going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function in ours. …
Yesterday would have been young Tamir Rices fourteenth birthday. So I dont want to hear any more about how far weve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on a twelve-year-old playing alone in a park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich.“
You can watch his speech – and his standing ovation – in full here:
Now, thousands of people have spoken in support – and in awe – of Jesse, Justin Timberlake among them. The musician/actor tweeted…
This irritated a few people, who pointed out that Justinis actually somebody who has in the past been accused of appropriating black culture (which was one of the things that Jesse addressed in his speech).
One Twitter user – Ernest Jones – also referenced Nipplegate – the incident that saw Justin expose Janet Jackson’s nipple during the 2004 Superbowl Halftime Show, and for which her career suffered while Justin received very little of the blame.
…But this only attracted more criticism, as people argued that Justin had completely missed the point of Jesse’s speech, hadforgotten about his own privilege, and was being condescending:
Well, Justin has since apologised:
Let us know what you think in the comments!