Fans are lashing out at Justin Timberlake over the new 'Framing Britney Spears' documentary
- The New York Times Presents premiered "Framing Britney Spears" on FX and Hulu on Friday.
- The documentary examined the relationship between Spears and Justin Timberlake, and the subsequent fallout.
- Fans are accusing Timberlake of launching "his solo career by throwing Britney under the bus."
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Fans are demanding Justin Timberlake apologize for his past treatment of Britney Spears.
Spears and Timberlake haven't dated since 2002, but their infamous relationship has skyrocketed back into pop culture with the release of "Framing Britney Spears."
The documentary, premiered by The New York Times Presents on Friday, detailed the persistent - and damaging - narratives that have clung to Spears' tumultuous career.
Although the film was meant to explore the #FreeBritney movement that sparked after her 2007 mental health crisis, fans became particularly enthralled in the re-examination of the Spears-Timberlake saga.
The former pop couple, who both appeared on Disney's "The All-New Mickey Mouse Club," dated between 1998 and 2002. While Timberlake shed his *NSYNC image after the breakup, Spears faced overwhelming backlash that chipped at her reputation and painted her as a media villain.
"The way that people treated her, to be very high school about it, was like she was the school slut and he was the quarterback," said Times critic-at-large Wesley Morris during the film.
Social media users pointed to the litany of misogynistic media responses over the split, as well as the attention focused on her virginity and innocence.
Fans have accused Timberlake of pushing negative narratives about Spears to launch his solo career
Many "Framing Britney Spears" viewers took to social media to express their disappointment towards Timberlake.
"Watching this Britney doc and YES 2021 in the year we publicly acknowledge that Justin Timberlake LAUNCHED HIS CAREER BY SLUT-SHAMING BRITNEY. He completely capitalized on their private relationship," wrote one person on Twitter.
—Lady from the Poconos (@ladypocono) February 6, 2021
Gabbie Hanna, a popular YouTube influencer, wrote: "still waiting for justin timberlake to publicly apologize to britney spears."
—gh (@GabbieHanna) February 7, 2021
"V happy that people are coming for Justin Timberlake," another viewer added. "Also the overall misogyny that led to Britney's downfall pisses me off. #FreeBritney."
—alwaysdiscussingmyIBS (@VeeEmm_92) February 7, 2021
Some also mentioned the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy when Janet Jackson suffered a wardrobe malfunction while performing with Timberlake.
As reported by Rolling Stone, the NFL placed blame for the wardrobe malfunction and backlash on MTV, which produced the halftime show. After the NFL declared MTV would never produce another halftime show, it "essentially" blacklisted Jackson's music from MTV, VH1, and radio stations in their wheelhouse.
"The ascent of justin timberlake in the wreckage of both britney spears and janet jackson is really something we have to answer for," wrote Terron Moore, the editorial director and vice president at MTV News.
—Terron Moore (@Terr) February 6, 2021
"Never forget Justin Timberlake launched his solo career by throwing Britney under the bus & Janet Jackson soon after," a person wrote.
—Timothée’s sequin harness (@tcke88) February 6, 2021
Some people have gone so far as to label Timberlake a "villain" on social media.
"Growing up is learning that justin timberlake was the villain. first with britney, then with janet," one person said. "All the homies hate justin. the only JT I recognize is a city girl."
—foyin (@foyinog) February 7, 2021
"What is Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' plans to finally make justin timberlake pay for his crimes against janet jackson and britney spears," a user joked.
—brie. (@briebxrries) February 7, 2021
The film revisited Timberlake's hit song "Cry Me a River" that featured a Spears look-alike and radio interviews
A portion of "Framing Britney Spears" suggested that Timberlake helped push the narrative that Spears cheated on him.
In 2002, Timberlake catapulted to the top of the Billboard charts with his single "Cry Me a River," which was boosted amid rumors the song was about Spears.
The music video featured a Spears look-alike, and the lyrics contained several suggestions of infidelity, including "You don't have to say what you did. I already know. I found out from him."
During this time, Timberlake also did radio interviews in which he spoke about having sex with Spears.
When one radio host asked, "Did you f--- Britney Spears," Timberlake laughed and answered, "Okay, I did it."
Spears shouldered the brunt of the blame for the breakup, as shown in a 2003 interview between Spears and Diane Sawyer.
"You broke his heart," Sawyer said to Spears. "You did something that caused him so much pain, so much suffering. What did you do?"
The "Baby...One More Time" singer told Sawyer that "everyone has a side of their story to make them feel a certain way…and I'm not technically saying he's wrong, but I'm not technically saying he's right either."
Britney clarified during a 2003 interview with W Magazine that she had only slept with one person her "whole life," and it happened "two years into my relationship with Justin."
More recently, any bad blood between Spears and Timberlake seems to have disappeared.
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