Justin Timberlake's Twitter Mentions Were In Shambles After Jesse Williams' BET Awards Speech

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 04: Musician Justin Timberlake attends the 49th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 4, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)

Justin Timberlake's Twitter Mentions Were In Shambles After Jesse Williams' BET Awards Speech

It was kind of a loss for everyone.

Published June 27, 2016

Jesse Williams delivered one of the most moving speeches in award show history last night at the 2016 BET Awards. It had everyone on Twitter reacting, with most in agreeance and some not so willing to go along with the stern self-reflection he offered in how we treat people in the world today.

Justin Timberlake was one of the people moved by Williams’s speech. He initially tweeted that he was “inspired” by what the activist had to say. Twitter then decided to be savage and accuse JT of cultural appropriation, even reaching all the way back to his infamous 2004 Super Bowl performance with Janet Jackson and her wardrobe malfunction during their set.

“So does this mean you're going to stop appropriating our music and culture? And apologize to Janet too,” a Twitter user replied. As you can imagine, this got the pop singer hot. He clapped back with a response that was much more controversial than his initial tweet.

“Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation,” he replied in a tweet. “Bye.” While the initial criticism of JT’s commentary about Williams’s speech seemed a little out-of-pocket, his response did portray the same sort of dismissiveness that the speech actually underlined. It was the forthcoming backlash that then had JT apologize.

“I feel misunderstood. I responded to a specific tweet that wasn't meant to be a general response. I shouldn't have responded anyway,” he tweeted, and then followed up with, “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 apologize to anyone that felt I was out of turn,” he concluded. “I have nothing but LOVE FOR YOU AND ALL OF US.”

Jesse Williams won this year’s Humanitarian Award for his efforts to bring awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement. During his speech, he asked for people all over to open their minds and be vigilant of the struggle of others. He also called for those who oppose progress to get out of the way.

"We've been floating this country on credit for centuries, and we're done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us,” he told the audience. “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, then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though, just because we're magic doesn't mean we're not real."

Watch Jesse Williams’s full speech above and check out Justin Timberlake’s tweets, among others, below.

Written by Paul Meara

(Photo: John Shearer/WireImage)


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