Singer Justin Timberlake got slammed on Twitter after he praised a speech by actor Jesse Williams, of TV show "Grey’s Anatomy," who called out police brutality, racism and cultural appropriation during the BET Awards on June 26.
Williams said: "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," notes The New York Times.
"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," Williams added. "The thing is, though, the thing is that just because we’re magic, doesn’t mean we’re not real."
Timberlake subsequently tweeted, "@iJesseWilliams tho... #Inspired. #BET2016," which brought angry responses notes Mediaite.com:
"@jtimberlake @iJesseWilliams Did you like the part when Jesse talked about white people stealing from us? That should resonate with you."
"@jtimberlake he was talking about ppl like u though. Not Protecting black women. Gentrification of our art."
"@dcjanfan @jtimberlake Yeah, like how you threw Janet under the bus. Left her hanging, talking all the backlash from Nipple Gate."
"@jtimberlake inspired to do what? Continue to emulate black culture through your music while ignoring issues affecting black people?"
There were more insulting tweets, notes Red Alert Politics:
"So does this mean you're going to stop appropriating our music and culture? And apologize to Janet too. #BETAwards."
Timberlake tried to defend himself: "Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation."
However, that tweet was met with more derision and calls for censorship:
"I actually love Justin Timberlake's music, but his opinion is so trash. As a white person, you're not allowed to say 'we are all the same.'"
"@jtimberlake @iJesseWilliams Its you!!!! you've been using black people for years and when we get murdered YOU ARE SILENT. GO TO BED, SIS."
Timberlake regretted his tweet, and later apologized:
"I feel misunderstood. I responded to a specific tweet that wasn't meant to be a general response. I shouldn't have responded anyway..."
"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."