Justin Timberlake Accused of Appropriating Black Culture: 'I Feel Misunderstood' | NBC Chicago

Justin Timberlake Accused of Appropriating Black Culture: 'I Feel Misunderstood'

"Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation. Bye," Timberlake had tweeted

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    Vincent Desailly/Getty Images
    Justin Timberlake attends the 'Cafe Society' premiere and the Opening Night Gala during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 11, 2016.

    Justin Timberlake is facing major backlash on social media following the BET Awards. 

    The "Can't Stop the Feeling" singer was moved by actor Jesse Williams' Humanitarian Award acceptance speech at the 2016 BET Awards, so he took to Twitter to share his thoughts with fans. "@iJesseWilliams tho... #Inspired #BET2016," the 35-year-old Grammy winner tweeted.

    One of Timberlake's 55.6 million followers, Ernest Owens, responded, "So does this mean you're going to stop appropriating our music and culture? And apologize to Janet too. #BETAwards."

    Owens was referring to Timberlake's 2004 Super Bowl performance, in which the singer accidentally flashed Janet Jackson's breast on stage. Many have argued that Jackson's career never recovered as a result of the scandal (dubbed "Nipplegate"), while Timberlake's career continued to soar.

    In response to Owens' tweet, the pop singer wrote, "Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation. Bye."

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    Timberlake's response only led to more outrage, so he 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," he tweeted. "I apologize to anyone that felt I was out of turn. I have nothing but LOVE FOR YOU AND ALL OF US. - JT."

    Ironically, in his speech, one of the things Williams touched upon was cultural appropriation.

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    "Now, this award--this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country: the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do. It's kind of basic mathematics: the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize," the Grey's Anatomy star said. "Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves." 

    "We can and will do better for you," Williams promised from the BET Awards stage. 

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