Friday, October 26, 2012

Justin Timberlake Apologizes - Kind Of For Homeless Video

Maybe I am reading this wrong or am just being overly cynical, but Justin Timberlake does not seem that remorseful about the homeless video shown at his wedding although he says it was not at his wedding. Anyway, you read it, and let me know if you think it is a sincere apology.



To my family, friends, and fans,
The last time I wrote a letter like this, it was when I had the good fortune of attending a once in a lifetime experience by sharing an evening with some of America's finest at the Marine Corps Ball about a year ago. I was so moved by that night, I wanted to share it with everyone. Unfortunately, this letter holds a different kind of weight for me.

Normally, as some of you know, I am (by nature) a pretty private person. So, I don't really take it upon myself to comment on things that so often go misunderstood or something that has even shed any kind of dark light on what was and will always be one of the most special weeks of my life. But, in light of the recent events, I can't fight the urge to clarify my thoughts and feelings on what has been a very upsetting portrayal of the people closest to me and myself. It's not who I am as a professional or as a man.

I can't help but think of one of the many great life lessons my Grandfather has taught me... He told me when I was younger that "Sometimes, you are confronted with challenges in life that perhaps are not your own. And, when those moments arise, the right thing for a man to do is accept that responsibility, whatever it may be, and face it with honesty and humility."

So, I'm taking his advice. If for no other reason, than to clear the air so no one has to ever wonder how I feel about it.

I'd like to start off by saying that I don't live my life making fun of people (unless, of course, I'm making fun of myself on SNL)... Especially, those who are less fortunate or those in need. I grew up with a family and community that instilled ideals in me like hard work, honesty and empathy. As a matter of fact, growing up in Tennessee, I was always taught that we as people, no matter what your race, sex, or stature may be, are equal. We have a saying there that "Everyone puts their pants on the same way(maybe this saying doesn't apply to guys who wear kilts. Although, I'm sure they put theirs on the same way too...)"

As it pertains to this silly, unsavory video that was made as a joke and not in any way in mockery:

1. I had no knowledge of its existence. I had absolutely ZERO contribution to it.

2. My friends are good people. This was clearly a lapse in judgment which I'm sure no one who is reading this is exempt from. But, I don't believe it was made to be insensitive. More so, I think it was made as a joke on me not having that many friends attending my own wedding(which IS kind of funny if you think about it).

3. Like many silly rumors that I have been made aware of about the week: It was NOT shown at my wedding.

4. I think we can all agree that it was distasteful, even though that was not it's intention.
Once again, in the world that we live in where everyone thinks that they know everything, I want to be very clear... I am NOT defending the video. I agree with the overall consensus. But, to use another "pants" analogy... It seems that these days, misconception gets around the world before the actual truth even wakes up and gets it's pants on.

I want to say that, on behalf of my friends, family, and associative knuckleheads, I am deeply sorry to anyone who was offended by the video. Again, it was something that I was not made aware of. But, I do understand the reaction and, by association, I am holding myself accountable.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts. It really is a blessing to be able to speak directly to my true fans so that you can know exactly where I stand.

Justin

P.S. You can bet your ass that I'm having my friend do at least 100 hours of community service... Boom.



82 comments:

brittiany said...

Seems sincere to me.

Agent**It said...

Entwood- overly cynical ! It reads as though a Himmmm might have written it.

Nervous Nelly said...

Aw. Sorry, Enty, I'm siding with Justin on this one. It's a nice letter. Why should he sound sorry? He didn't make the video, his idiot friend did.

Justin - if you're reading this: I forgive your bonehead friend for his lack of sensitivity and I forgive you for that denim jean suit you once wore with the Queen of Cheetos.

SusanB said...

I would disagree with #2. These "friends" aren't "good people". Other than that, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

C. Malone said...

Sorry, not buying it.

Nutty_Flavor said...

I agree with the first 4 posters - seems sincere to me.. What the hell else do you want him to say?

hothotheat said...

A little ironic that he calls himself a private person while he's currently on the cover of People magazine, having sold the pics to his wedding for public consumption.

He seems to be saying, yeah I agree it was in poor taste, everybody makes mistakes. I still don't like her and this makes me not like him much anymore.

I'm with you, Enty, doesn't exactly sound sincere, least of all because all "jokes" he inserts "100 hours of community service....boom". Yeah. No.

annabella said...

the apology seems sincere so time to let jt off of the hook on this one.

however, what kind of loser friend makes a video making fun of homeless people? its more than a lapse in judgment, its a lack of moral center.

LSC said...

nice way to CYA, Justin

LadyLagerfeld said...
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CraftyGirl said...

I buy it.

This guy has a close relationship to his mom, he grew up in Memphis, TN, which has a very large poverty rate, and he the fact that he owned up to the 'mistake by my friend' shows that he is a decent person.

His choice in friends and wife is questionable, but I have to admit I'm glad he did this.

Danielle said...

See? Goes right along with what I was saying yesterday. "At MY wedding". All about him.

Chismosa Street said...

I still have flashbacks of the Janet Boobgate and how he threw her under the bus. Whenver I see his face I hear Shaggy singing the line ' it wasn't me'

parissucksliterally said...

I still like him. Everyone has a couple of friends who do stupid things.

Agent**It said...

He should absolutely not be 'held up' for a donation to a charity for his friend's stupidity. Any money he donates to any charity, he should do it privately unless it is a fundraising event. IMO.

Mother Campfire said...

I stopped reading at 'I am normally a private person'. Bitch, please. Then why are you jumping on the cover of People, and how come all of America knew when and where this shit was going down? Nuh-uh. You got caught with your pants down.

All about Eve said...

I'm not really sure I buy it. Even the way he started the letter was by reminding us what a great, charitable guy he is that he attended that Marines ball with a soldier. I think he should have kept it short and maybe no jokes, this is not a funny matter and the joke at the end was the worst.

Sean said...

I sort of agree that it is sincere. It also was a PR disaster for Timberlake. So it is probable both.

The Black Cat said...

Enty I am surprised that you are being so harsh considering you have been at fault for a few moral lapses of judgement yourself. And recently too.
Justin is a self absorbed tool, all he really cares about is himself and his image. Why is anyone shocked over this?

Audrey said...

I'm sure he's sorry from a PR perspective, but I still don't think he really gets it.

chumsley said...

I think it was the phase "sorry to anyone who was offended" that makes some people feel an apology is insincere. It's the phrase that's usually used when making a non-apology. That way you don't have to admit any wrongdoing since it's the other party who has problem. Even if he didn't mean it that way, I can see how it could appear insincere.

auntliddy said...

I read the selling of thr pics was his mothers idea. And mb if they sell them, there is less chance of being photo bombed.

auntliddy said...

Seems very sincere to me. Like someone said, what else do u want him to say? I think it was nicely handled.

Call me yndy... said...

I'm cynical by default and this rings sincere to me. He's a singer and actor people... Not necessarily an accomplished writer. Tone is tough to convey in written text.

Yes, it's possible to be a 'private person' trying to navigate a career that requires publicity for success. Celebrity weddings are circus events no matter how you look at it. If the celebs in question aren't viewing it as a PR event, they do what so many others have done and do it quietly and announce it after. So if you're already having the 3-ring show for the PR op, why wouldn't you include photos and a magazine spread? It can only increase the effect.

But to a lot of celebs there's a difference between "my public persona" and "my private life." So saying that they can't possibly expect both is just not being familiar with the fame-dilemma.

Whatever. It seems sincere to me. But what I want is the apology by the "friend" who made the video.

Amber said...

I think the letter is sincere. No one can make everyone happy, or say exactly the perfect thing 100% of the time. I think it's unfair to play the semantics game and pick apart his phrasing. He could've released a brief statement through his publicist, but he didn't. And let's not vilify him as if HE shot the video. His friend did, and unfortunately sometimes our friends are idiots.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

sounds pompous to me.

Stephy said...
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Stephy said...

I had to roll my eyes at how he had to congratulate himself about attending the Marine Corps Ball before getting around to the apology. Ugh.

Also, the terms "misunderstood", "misconception" seem inappropriate in this context. Nothing was misunderstood. Also, it wasn't "distasteful"--it was demeaning and cruel

Zeeky_Boogy_Doog said...

It seemed sincere. Yeah, he said "sorry to anyone who was offended" but before that, he said it's distateful. It's written organically instead of formal legalese, which gains him a few points.

The video, though, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It was definitely bad, but the people in it aren't being made to do awful things. If the same words (besides some of the last guy's part) were spoken by his old classmates, random fans or other celebrities, it would seem normal and nice. But I do get that the people were chosen as a mocking thing and the makers were trolling them, which sucks.

By the way, I'm indifferent towards JT. His music and films aren't my bag.

LadyLagerfeld said...
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Roman Holiday said...

It's good that he addressed the situation, but, not everyone is going to believe his sincerity. I personally think he is just appeasing the masses! But you can't please everybody, and if he makes another parody like dick in a box - I just might forgive him:)

Renoblondee said...

Eh, the apology didn't bother me, BUT I'd have to say if Biel is such a bitch as to "Don't you know who I am!) people, then I'd guess he isn't all that savory either.

DewieTheBear said...

He had me and then...

Normally, as some of you know, I am (by nature) a pretty private person.

BOOM! He lost me. But it was good for a laugh.

LottaColada said...

Did u guys read Lainey's comments about his apology? She had some valid points.

Overall i think he thought it was funny until it became public knowledge. Damage control or look like a douche with idiot friends? He chose damage control.

Karrots said...

I don't think the video was really a big deal and really was kind of funny, even if it was in poor taste.

The homeless in the video were willing participants, they got paid $40 or whatever for a few seconds of their time. They would have likely done it again even knowing where it would end up.

LadyLagerfeld said...
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MISCH said...

How about a very big donation to several homeless shelters Justin ?

Karrots said...

But how do we know that TMZ wasn't paying the man to say that to make the story seem even worse?

Either way the guy clearly knew the video was being made for someone he didn't know, regardless if they had celebrity status or not.

I think people have their panties in a wad for nothing. Why are we so concerned? The people in the video were consenting adults, and likely would have done worse for a pay day.

And let's be honest, how is that any more humiliating than standing on a corner with a cardboard sign asking for a free payout? At least they actually did a little work for their money.

Turkish Taffy said...

There is too much pussyfooting in the apology. Be straight: the video was mean and it was stupid. In this case, it would be wise for him to throw his friend under the bus.

element said...

He's a narcissistic douche nozzle! He's says he's sorry if you are offended - never says he's offended.

Del Riser said...

I think he did his best at sounding sincere, after realizing that this didn't look good to most of us.

The Las Vegas charity golf tournament is no longer having him as it's *face* because they couldn't count on him
to be present unless the cameras were on. It's got to be pretty bad when that is the actual reason given for the parting of the ways.

What I got from this letter was, "I didn't have a lot of friends at my wedding so my bonehead friends hired some friends for me. I thought it was funny at the time, but it's causing some flack so sorry 'bout that."

cinephreak said...

Im willing to bet Justin didnt even personally write this.

Rox (used to be Roxxx) said...

LottaColada:
I read Lainey's comments and thought she was spot on.
This is straight up an exercise in damage limitation.
The guy is clearly an egomaniac and it's clear the only issue he has is how this whole episode has reflected upon him.

car54 said...

I don't think people should be blaming Justin for this--he didn't initiate it and now he is apologizing. The person who filmed it should be the one apologizing.

not a Justin fan at all--but I don't see how having a stupid friend is his fault and he's trying to apologize for the film being made for anything associated with him and his wedding. That's enough.

chachi said...

It sounds like he had a professional political speech writer come up with this.

Sure I think he's legitimately sorry......sorry it marred his golden reputation!!

The self-serving asides about his date with the Marine Corps, his "private" nature (ha!), and the down-home countified wisdom of his grand-pappy, just ring soooo manufactured to me.

He is a gross, narcissitic man with a great speech writer, flailing about trying to fix his rep.

Penelope said...
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Penelope said...

His grammar is terrible. He writes like someone who thinks he's much smarter and smoother than he is.

And the more I think about it, I agree with those who say this is not a sincere apology. He apologizes to those who were offended when he should have been a man and said he found it offensive himself--which he obviously didn't, and doesn't.

What a douche.

iheartjacksparrow said...

It was sincere up to the P.S.

AKM said...

I'm usually really cynical, but Team Sincere on this one.

ABlake said...

I'm of 2 minds on this.

1)I think he personally wrote that letter and I found it to be well spoken (and liked the jokes tossed in) I agree that we all have friends that may show a terrible lack of judgement at times.

at the same time

2) If you expect your wedding to be treated like the royal wedding (selling pictures,posing for magazine covers,announcing how much it cost etc) then don't complain when the coverage goes in the opposite direction.

At the end of the day this will most likely be forgotten in a week.

Jemtastic said...

I stopped reading after he claimed to be a private person. Isn't he the same guy that was offered additional spins on his first solo single by a radio station if he would divulge intimate secrets from his relationship with Britney? Mind you, this was when she was still claiming to be a virgin and some people actually still believed the act.

nevermindthat said...

Nice try JT"s publicist

Amartel said...

Not even slightly a Timberlake fan, never understood the attraction, don't like his music or his acting, but this was not his fuckup in any way. Apparently these things have to be EXPLAINED to the Pavlovian people who are all too willing to follow orders and foam at the mouf when cued. Sheep.

LottaColada said...

No mention of what his new wife thought of it either. Sure, they're his friends but it really was all about "me and myself"

Rawsterdam said...

Is his grandfather uncle Ben Parker?
Are they at least related?

Krissie said...

If he's really sorry, he will donate money to a homeless shelter-how about that three hundred grand Mr. Private Person (snerk) got for selling his wedding photos to a national magazine...

Benita said...

He's not sorry, he's sorry he got caught. If something like this is shown at a party in your honor and you don't shut it down, you are just as culpable as those who made it. I smell an eventual donation to a homeless charity and even then he won't really be sorry.

Tuxedo Cat said...

It was sort of what you would hear from a politician.

It's evident he's Very concerned with his reputation....It sounded very teenaged to me. Like a 15 yr old wrote it.

I didn't understand the last part about the community service - BOOM...

ABlake said...

Oh good Lord, we don't know how he feels. The 'he's sorry' vs 'he's not sorry' is silly.
Why should he have to contribute money from his own pocket for something his friends did?

DavidsFan said...

It seems pretty sincere to me. A thoughtful letter.

babo said...

Mixed on the letter but totally positive on the picture: horrendous.

Casey said...

No issue with him only apologizing to those who were offended, why bother apologizing to anyone who wasn't?

Lainey is such a hate filled person, I'm not surprised she found fault with his apology.

Cee Kay said...

It's a nice letter, but there's no way he wrote it so he doesn't get a pass from me. Also, whoever he pays for this stuff really needs to learn proper punctuation.

UnicornsRReal said...

I call BS. His friends are a reflection of him and they made that video cause they knew justin would like it. Then someone leaked it and to not address the fallout would look worse. He didn't even reference Jessica as an "us" or "we" feel terrible and are feeding the homeless this weekend to make good...it was more defensive about how much he thinks of himself.

LauraM said...

I'm so sorry. It's not my fault. I'm sorry. I take responsibility eventhough is not my fault but I'm sorry.
whatever, I don't care...

Margaux said...

I think he should have used the opportunity to put the spotlight on the plight of homeless people but he didn't - he talked about himself a lot and said about five times that he had nothing to do with the video or the making of.

I agreed with some of Lainey's points but I was also quite annoyed with how she ripped to shreds every word he said. It wasn't all bad. But yes, it could've been a lot better

dee123 said...

Biggest load of bull & back peddling i've ever read. Not dumb enough to fall for it. Sorry JT.

Selock said...

It's lame..."I'm sorry for the the thing that is not my fault and totally awful but not that bad and blah blah"...NO.

Clearly if it hadn't leaked they'd all still be chuckling over it. I've no more time for these folks. (K not that I ever really did, but whatevs.)

Selock said...

Really?

Because, whether or not someone puts themselves in the position of an easy target, people with morals don't treat other human beings like jokes, like dirt, directly or indirectly. Good God.

85134943 said...

If someone did something wrong and then proceeded to give an apology filled with jokes in a joking manner, then logically enough, I would perceive it as a joke. It is what it is - literally.

His "apology" contains several red flags:
He starts off with a not so subtle reminder of how good of a person he is, which was completely irrelevant. Contradictions: "I'm a very private person," and "I sold my wedding day to the highest bidding magazine." "As some of you know," and "in the world that we live in where everyone thinks that they know everything." Ergo, "if you believe what I want to you to, then you actually 'know,' if you believe anything else, then you think 'you know everything.'" "It's not who I am as a professional or as a man." He put professional before man, he is doing this mainly as a 'professional', i.e. PR. Tries to portray himself as a family man and just an "average joe," so he will seem more sympathetic and relatable. Not unlike the "political tactics" a politician would use.

Puts hard work first and empathy last. Claims the video "was made as a joke and not in any way in mockery." If you make a joke on somebody else's expense, then that's mockery. The homeless people in the video were not in on the joke, they said so themselves. Stated as fact: "My friends are good people." Stated as uncertain: "I don't believe it was made to be insensitive." "I think it was made as a joke on me."

"This was clearly a lapse in judgment which I'm sure no one who is reading this is exempt from." He tries to rationalize what they did by saying that "everyone makes mistakes, we're only human." He is also saying, "come on, like if you haven't done something wrong before. So, don't judge." "(...) Which IS kind of funny if you think about it." He most likely laughed when he saw the video and thought it was funny, because according to him, he thought the joke was on him, not the clueless homeless people. And he wants you to think about it, because let's be honest, it was kind of funny.

"Like many silly rumors (...)" - he most likely finds this whole situation silly. "I am NOT defending the video. I agree with the overall consensus. But, to use another "pants" analogy... It seems that these days, misconception gets around the world before the actual truth even wakes up and gets it's pants on." Why the "but"? He agrees with the "overall consensus," what is the overall consensus? But what? The "actual truth," what truth? Why the need to point out that you're not defending the video, unless you know that's what it seems like you're doing? A clear statement, with no rooms for misconceptions ("I find the video distasteful"), would suffice. "It really is a blessing to be able to speak directly to my true fans so that you can know exactly where I stand." - Ergo, a "true fan" will believe him and "know" the "truth." "P.S. You can bet your ass that I'm having my friend do at least 100 hours of community service... Boom." It's all a big joke to him, and his friends got and will get away scot-free.

Henriette said...

What a badly written letter! Just apologize Famewhore!

I still can't get over how fugly his husband's dress was. It looks like something Barbie would have thrown up.

Rox (used to be Roxxx) said...

@ 85134943:
Nicely explained, but unfortunately I think those who can't see how unapologetic his apology is, still won't get it and put the criticism down to unnecessary nit-picking of the guy's grammar and being "mean" to poor old Justin, whose just an innocent victim of his friends' poor sense of judgement and humour.

I understand why Lainey gets so frustrated with people who have this kind of mentality. Another poster accused her of being hate filled, but there's a difference between hating for no rational reason and rational critical analysis. It's disappointing when people are not able to discern between the two.

alexis said...

Spot. On.

alexis said...

Spot. On.

85134943 said...

Rox:
Thank you - and I second everything you just said.

BlindItemMe said...

I dont know but i felt that he didn't need to mention Jessica, she had no idea about it and it was his friend anyway like why bring her into it. I also think it could have been one of those super duper awkward situations when the video played, like surely you don't want to make a scene at your wedding? But meh I don't even really like justin. Or Jessica

FlirtyChick74 said...

I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. You see this stuff on late night television all the time but no one complains, really. I agree that it's damage control and it was poorly done. It's rambling and unfocused and very obvious that he didn't want to write it at all. He shouldn't have to apologize for his friends actions but...it comes with territory of being a public figure. Just like CEOs apologize for the actions of employees all the time. It's quick and minimizes the situation.

On another note: I cannot stand (with all my heart) the default thinking that when X happens the offender (or offender by proxy in this case) should donate to charity. It drives me crazy! The only thing it does is to enrich the nonprofit (which is good, I guess) but the offender learns nothing. It's super lazy.

Moonmaid said...

The misspelling "it's" is really annoying.

"...the actual truth even wakes up and gets it's pants on."

Proofread!!

MadLyb said...

Well, that was sincere, in a very douchey way, because this was written by someone who is very full of themselves. I agree that this wasn't an apology, but sort of a reprimand towards anyone who would even think the incredible JT was capable of an error in judgement, and for getting on his friends and family who only meant well. "Silly" and "unsavory"? It was incredibly insensitive and a spectacular error in judgement that can come from only those who are clueless about what it's like to be impoverished and homeless, and frankly, don't give a shit.

The "Boom" at the end? PLEEEEEASE. I shouldn't have read this. :(

MadLyb said...

I just realized why I started out with "meh" and got more pissed off as I read this and thought about it. This whole thing reminds me of Mitt's "47%" video. The fuckers who gather in their lavish digs with their $50k food plates and $7.5 million weddings aren't happy with that. They have to degrade and poke fun of the unwashed masses for their amusement and to show they are superior because all the money in the world can't buy them a soul, the ability to empathize, or even an ounce of compassion.

Krissie said...

@FlirtyChick74: "The only thing it does is enrich the nonprofit".

I'm not trying to be rude but I promise you that is not an ONLY. That is in an incredibly positive thing. I work for a shelter and charities getting money from rich d-bags is a good thing whether the rich d-bag learns anything or not! They need that cash... it doesn't matter if someone is only ponying it up to look good in the media. $$$ is $$$.

Mango said...

Unless I missed it, Justin doesn't mention Jessica or what she thought about the video (I'm sure she was also horrified!)

Gawker has an article about how the wedding was all about Justin and not so much about Jessica:

Jessica Biel Was Merely a Guest at Justin Timberlake’s Wedding to Himself