there are celebrities i cannot stand and justin timberlake is #1 (a personal meditation [part 4])

so hey, guess who we’re talking about! yup. STILL. i know, i know. you’re wondering how there could possibly more words to spill on this man. how has my admittedly shallow well of thoughts and analysis not run completely dry. fear not! we’re nearly done. (except… ARE WE?! because now j.tim’s chimed up about how he’s so memphis because his primary impulse is to kill people rather than dialogue, which is a maddeningly reductive thing to have said about a city known for the killing of martin luther king, jr.)  as i mentioned initially, my dislike of j.tim can be distilled into three episodes: the wedding, the shriners, and take back the night.

(sidenote: doesn’t he totally look like chuck bass in the photo above??)

which brings us to TAKE BACK THE NIGHT…

it’s the title of a song, yeah? Justin Timberlake "Take Back the Night" (Screengrab)

it’s also the name of an international protest movement against sexual violence.

take-back-the-night-2 halifax

it’s been around a long time.

Box 54: Demonstrations, 1980s: Women's Rights

it was featured on an episode of 90210.


the point being that it is KNOWN, this little international organization called take back the night.


lest the argument be made that this is a “women’s issue” and a “women’s movement” and something about which men don’t really know anything… no. men know about this too.takebackthenight2

though apparently not all.


because j.tim is taking back the night. to which i want to be all MAN, COME ON. this is amateur.

if i were j.tim, this would make me seriously question the people around me. because this was a super-easy google. do the people around justin timberlake not google his song titles to spare him the embarrassment of appropriating the name of an anti-sexual violence organization for a song about hooking up? or did they google it and figure it wasn’t a big deal? or did they know and say nothing, simply cow-towing to his genius?

if i were j.tim, heads would roll. because this was an ignorant mistake. it’s one thing for your friends to be ignorant fools. it’s an entirely different other thing for the people you pay to protect you from ignorant mistakes to be ignorant fools.

because this is precisely the type of ignorant mistake that the people in the employ of a celebrity are meant to protect them from. and yet no one had his back here.


the use of the name of an organization the protests violence against women as the title of a song about sex is unfortunate. but what’s insulting is that when the take back the night foundation expressed concern, timberlake (or his people) released a statement to that, while admitting the organization does valuable work that he would deign to approve, he’d never heard of them:

“Upon the release of my new single ‘Take Back The Night’, I was made aware of an organization of the same name called The Take Back The Night Foundation. I wanted to take this opportunity to let all know that neither my song nor its lyrics have any association with the organization. As I’ve learned more about The Take Back The Night Foundation, I’m moved by its efforts to stop violence against women, create safe communities and encourage respectful relationships for women — Something we all should rally around. It is my hope that this coincidence will bring more awareness to this cause.”

which, well, DUDE.


lainey gossip sums this up best:

‘This is so sad to me. You know why? Because he’s a man. And some men are clearly ignoring the Take Back The Night movement. And that’s also terrifying, not to mention offensive. You know why it’s offensive? It’s offensive because he turns an apology into promotion and ego. It’s basically the same as saying “Look, I didn’t know about your charity, but now that it has the same name as my song, you’ll benefit because I’m the best. So you should be thanking me instead”.’



while i’m not suggesting that we expect every celebrity to know about every cause ever and represent it well and be articulate about it, i think we should hold our celebrities accountable for the way they acknowledge their own ignorance. timberlake seems to get a lot of points for the fact that he seems to speak for himself on his website (the statement released after the wedding video, for instance) but amid the din of applause for that, there seems to be very little attention paid to the content of what he’s actually saying.

yeah, it’s commendable that he’s trying to reach out to his fans and bridge the gap between celebrity and supporters (if you’re into that sort of thing- personally, i think celebrities would do far better to stop trying to be real and include us all in their worlds and just be celebrities… clooney agrees), but what is he actually saying when he does that?

‘i hope that my song will coincidentally bring attention to this little organization i’ve never heard of before.’

that is what he’s saying here. and that is not awesome.


One thought on “there are celebrities i cannot stand and justin timberlake is #1 (a personal meditation [part 4])

  1. Pingback: there are celebrities i cannot stand and justin timberlake is #1 (a personal meditation [the last]) | finding jackie

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