Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

Justin Timberlake loved Jesse Williams’ BET Awards speech — so why all the hate?

Justin Timberlake is getting a lot of Twitter hate, but does he really deserve it?

More: 19 pop songs little kids can dance to (oh, and parents can hang too)

Following Sunday’s BET Awards, Timberlake tweeted his support for actor Jesse Williams, who gave a moving speech about racism during his acceptance of this year’s humanitarian award.

“This invention called whiteness uses and abuses us,” Williams said during his speech. “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.”

Timberlake commended Williams in a short tweet, saying simply, “@iJesseWilliams tho…#Inspired #BET2016.”

It backfired.

More: Guys, take note — Justin Timberlake praises “MILF” Jessica Biel

Almost immediately, angry Twitter users started firing back at Timberlake for his response, saying Williams’ speech was actually targeting artists like Timberlake, who they say benefits from black culture without actually supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Did you like the part when Jesse talked about white people stealing from us? That should resonate with you,” one particularly heated tweet read.

Timberlake responded, saying, “Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation.”

Later, he headed back to Twitter to defend his words in a series of tweets.

“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 wrote. “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. I have nothing but LOVE FOR YOU AND ALL OF US.”

More: Ellen, Lady Gaga, Laverne Cox and other celebs mourn with Orlando

Do you think Justin Timberlake’s tweet was out of line? Let us know down in the comments.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Jesse Williams speech slideshow

Image: Kevin Winter/BET/Getty Images for BET

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.