For those who missed it, Timbaland recently made a series of derogatory remarks about Britney while praising his close friend and collaborator Justin Timberlake — who, of course, previously dated the pop star between 1999 and 2002.
After Britney and Justin parted ways, the former NSYNC member famously insinuated that she’d cheated on him in his hit song “Cry Me a River,” which was produced by Timbaland. Justin also made several crude remarks about their sex life during interviews, which resulted in Britney being demonized in the media for years.
Britney, on the other hand, remained silent about their breakup and the reasons behind their split for ages. In fact, it was only this year that she spoke at length about her and Justin’s relationship for the first time in her tell-all book,The Woman in Me.
In the memoir, which was released last month, Britney made a series of alleged revelations about Justin, including that he’d cheated on her numerous times during their relationship, and that she’d had an abortion while she was with him because he “didn't want to be a father.”
Britney’s book also shed plenty of light on her experience living under the strict terms of her conservatorship for 13 years. The legal arrangement saw her father, Jamie Spears, and a group of lawyers tightly controlling her life and finances from 2008 until November 2021.
With this in mind, producer Timbaland was recently asked about the reexamination of Justin’s song “Cry Me a River” in light of Britney’s revelations. In response, Timbaland interrupted the person asking the question and said, “She going crazy, right?”
“I wanted to call JT, ‘Man, you gotta put a muzzle on that girl,’” he joked.
“Timbaland saying that Justin Timberlake should have put a ‘muzzle’ on Britney is actually INSANE considering Britney has been treated like a caged animal for the past 13 years,” one popular tweet read. “Other than the disgusting misogyny on display, it's the audacity to refer to The Britney Spears as ‘that girl,’” said another.
Timbaland’s Instagram comments were also flooded with users urging him to apologize to Britney.
“You actually said ‘muzzle’ about someone who has been silenced for 13 years?! Shame on you,” one read. “Apologize to Britney, shame on you!” another said.
Amid the backlash, several fans wound up reflecting on the time Timbaland publicly bashed Britney for refusing to work with him.
Back in 2007, Timbaland called Britney “big-headed” after she decided not to collaborate with him and Justin on a studio album. Instead, Britney worked with Timbaland’s coproducer Danja on her successful project Blackout.
Timbaland had previously expressed his desire to have Britney work with him and Justin, suggesting that she needed a “comeback story” to help her image and success. He later said that Britney got “so big-headed” and allegedly said to him, “Screw you, screw you, I don't need nobody.”
“She should, humbly humble herself,” Timbaland said at the time. “And make a phone call and say, ‘I’m sorry.’”
With this in mind, fans were all the more appalled by Timbaland’s latest comments about Britney.
“The whole ‘humble herself and apologize’ has always rubbed me the wrong way. She can work with anyone she wants, and to think that she needed them is very egotistic,” one person said.
“So Timbaland is still butt-hurt that Britney wouldn’t work with him, and now he’s spewing awful misogynist rants dragging Timberlake into it?” someone else theorized.
Well, before long, Timbaland ended up apologizing to Britney during a TikTok Live on Tuesday night.
After reading several comments questioning his attitude toward women, Timbaland said, “I apologize to the Britney fans and her.”
He appeared to add, “Respecting women? Hell yeah,” before purportedly going on to addressing Britney directly.
“You have a voice. You speak what you wanna speak. Who am I to tell you what not to speak?” he said.
“I was wrong, you know, for saying that, but I hope you see it from — I was looking at it from a different lens,” he added.