Are Things Better Left Unsaid? - Is Justin Timberlake’s Apology Enough? - Framing Britney (And Janet

Updated: Jul 24


After watching ‘Framing Britney Spears’ and reliving Janet Jackson’s shaming at the Superbowl, watching public opinion of Timberlake be - quite frankly - in the toilet. He comments via Instagram if you missed it


Is it enough? Comments came both ways - ‘why has it taken 17 years’, and ‘thank you for saying it’.


What did JT ‘do’ to Britney?

Neither Britney or JT - to this day, have said why they broke up. However, the song and video ‘Cry me a River’ released just after his break up with Britney Spears has been cited as ‘the truth’. The only truth we (think we) know is that he was in the studio after an argument with her.



The video shows the back of a woman who looks like Britney. The press and public were desperate to know more. JT was launching himself as a serious pop star, edgy.

What better way to create some publicity than to suggest the song and video were directly about his relationship with the biggest pop star in the world.


Let’s analyse - If you look at the words of the song, he isn’t even talking to her (‘You don’t have to say, what you did...I found out from him’), he is assuming. The video shows him breaking into her house, getting it on with another woman and leaving her the video of them together.


If this video is what anyone accepts as the truth - then he should have been arrested.

People cheat on each other, some relationships don’t work out- she was made a villain, he didn’t come to defend her although she was slut shamed.

Maybe he was hurt and he enjoyed the revenge. He was 21 years old.

Does anyone think an ex Mickey Mouse, N-Sync young lad will have had that much say in what he says, how he says it, what he does and when he does it - especially at 21 years old.

He may have had privilege, but I would bet he would have been supported.

True. he didn’t support her - this happens in real life - except on this occasion, the world is watching, and can rewind 20 years to relive it.


Superbowl 2004

It’s election year, there is war, JT rips Janet’s costume right at the end of the performance where it exposes Janet’s nipple (for half a second). Janet looks shocked, it’s touted as a publicity stunt (although that is not Janet’s style- it was ‘supposed’ to rip, but reveal a red bra underneath). JT and Janet are friends, having worked together many times.

So what happens. JT got away with it (being asked to perform at the Superbowl a few years later). Viacom (owner of MTV) put Janet on a blacklist and removed all her music being shown on many video and audio channels worldwide.

JT revelled in the ‘show’ “Hey man, we love giving y'all something to talk about,” Janet was the villain, she lost out. He is 23 years old and is flying.

Janet had since been on Oprah, Justin, years later, said that she unfairly got 90% of the blame.



He got even more famous from this (just like from his Britney video), had more opportunities at his door, he was the man. Why would he be sorry? Maybe what he didn’t grasp at the time was how badly this ‘hurt’ Janet ,it wasn’t positive publicity for her, it hurt her career and her reputation. For him, it was laughed off (men ripping women’s clothes is ok).


For her, she was slut shamed, she shouldn’t have got her breast out (remind you of any other attitudes? she was wearing a short skirt, so she was ‘asking for it’).

In 2017 (for those folks that are weary that JT has all of a sudden reflected)- JT talks about being raised by a strong woman and marrying one “.........We need to go to work. It’s not our responsibility; it’s our privilege, because at the end of the day if you can be lucky enough to be raised by a strong woman and convince a strong woman to marry you, you will realise that we are nothing without the strength of women.”



Although we are in the 21st century and in the western world, women are still treated like a commodity, even more so 20 years ago.