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Justin Timberlake Apologizes for BET Awards Tweet Controversy

by Festival June 27, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

Justin Timberlake Apologizes for BET Awards Tweet Controversy

During last night’s BET Awards, actor Jesse Williams received a humanitarian award and gave a powerful speech about racism, police violence against African Americans, and inequality. The award, he said, is for “the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students, that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.” He also railed against cultural appropriation:

We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and 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 then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.

Justin Timberlake praised Williams on Twitter, retweeting Questlove’s sentiment “Can [Jesse Williams] run in 2016?,” and tweeting that he felt “#Inspired” by the speech.

Journalist Ernest Owens then Tweeted at Timberlake, asking “So does this mean you’re going to stop appropriating our music and culture? And apologize to Janet too.” The singer responded, “Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation. Bye.” This set off a storm of controversy, with more users criticizing Timberlake for cultural appropriation.

Timberlake later apologized for his comments. “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 said.

See Timberlake’s tweets below.

Watch Jesse Williams’ full speech here; read a transcript here.

The post Justin Timberlake Apologizes for BET Awards Tweet Controversy appeared first on Festival Gear.




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