#BlackTwitter to Justin Timberlake After Praising Jesse Williams: ‘He’s Talking About You, Tho’


Justin Timberlake has apologized after his tweet of support for Jesse Williams’ speech at the BET Awards on Sunday was met with a collective side-eye from Black Twitter.

The singer was among the hundreds on Twitter inspired by the actor’s acceptance speech after receiving the Humanitarian Award. Williams included among his many racial themes a reference to black 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 trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies,” Williams said.

After the speech, Timberlake tweeted, “@ijessewilliams, tho,” along with the hashtag “#Insipired.”

@iJesseWilliams tho…#Inspired #BET2016

— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) June 27, 2016

Black Twitter, with #WardrobeMalfunction still on its mind, exploded on Timberlake, basically informing him that Williams was referring to white artists like him; and reminding the singer of the way he left Janet Jackson to take the fall after exposing her breast during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.

So does this mean you’re going to stop appropriating our music and culture? And apologize to Janet too. #BETAwardshttps://t.co/0FwBOQR24D

— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) June 27, 2016

Timberlake responded to the above tweet with, “Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation. Bye.

Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation.

Bye. https://t.co/FeTmGLOKVc

— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) June 27, 2016

The tweet was interpreted as condescending, defensive and dismissive. This is when the dragging snowballed.

@jtimberlake as a fan: all you have to do is listen. Don’t get defensive. Just listen. Hear what folks are saying.

— Anil Dash (@anildash) June 27, 2016

My problem is not with Justin Timberlake’s music. My problem is with his response to that tweet. “We” aren’t the same.

— ronald isley (@yoyotrav) June 27, 2016

Justin Timberlake pretty much hit us with an “All Lives Matter” tweet without directly saying it. I’m disgusted.

— ronald isley (@yoyotrav) June 27, 2016

Lmao Justin Timberlake said he was inspired by Jesse Williams in one tweet and the next tweet said we’re all the same. Get y’all mans

— Clayton Bigsby (@cocochanal) June 27, 2016

The way #JustinTimberlake‘s mentions are looking like right now, his next tweet needs to be a donation to #BlackLivesMatter. #BETAwards

— Danielle (@theislandiva) June 27, 2016

At around 1:30 a.m., Timberlake began apologizing — saying he felt “misunderstood” and should’ve never tweeted a response in the first place.

I feel misunderstood. I responded to a specific tweet that wasn’t meant to be a general response. I shouldn’t have responded anyway…

— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) June 27, 2016

I forget this forum sometimes… I was truly inspired by @iJesseWilliamsspeech because I really do feel that we are all one… A human race

— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) June 27, 2016

I apologize to anyone that felt I was out of turn. I have nothing but LOVE FOR YOU AND ALL OF US.

–JT

— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) June 27, 2016

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