Hate is a strong word, but I really, really, really don’t like Justin Timberlake these days. First, he reentered the music game at the top of 2018 by announcing some return to home/his roots thing, which was weird and disingenuous from the get go, because homeboy was a Disney Mouseketeer and then in the ‘90s boy band *NSYNC, and last I checked the “woods” in Orlando, Florida, is a “swamp.” (This, of course, fails to address the racial implications of this country-tinged “rebirth” from JT, a man who made his solo pop career by infiltrating black music spaces.)
Apparently he meant that his upcoming album Man of the Woods would only be visually all wilderness-like, in ways that will probably convince white people to buy it while maintaining some reverence of “cool.” (The only “cool” thing about this is that at his album listening parties in New York City earlier this week, Justin forced a bunch of music execs to eat bugs. That is fucking funny.)
No, JT’s music isn’t folk-y, or Americana-adjacent, or whatever trendy genre a phrase like “return to roots” inspires. His debut single, “Filthy,” is more of the same old JT, but, even more robotic than his 2006 full-length FutureSex/LoveSounds (the exact freakin’ opposite of “woodsy,” dude even dresses up like some sexy Steve Jobs.) His new music video/single “Supplies,” is even more infuriating because it’s JT trying to pivot to trap/hip-hop/literally who knows while taking producer Pharrell Williams with him, and honestly what did Pharrell do to you?
Anyway, if you can sit through the song, that classic JT appropriation, then check out the video above, which begins with Justin looking onto a few dozen flickering television sets featuring known abuser Harvey Weinstein and a few protest signs from the #MeToo movement. Which, I guess, in some alternate reality, could’ve been powerful, if Timberlake didn’t voluntarily work with another alleged abuser, director Woody Allen, then throw on a TimesUp! pin at the 2018 Golden Globes in a show of solidarity with victims of sexual misconduct in Hollywood. This is where “solidarity” means absolutely nothing, a tiny gesture of preaching-not-practicing.
All of this trash is goin’ down as JT prepares for the 2018 Super Bowl, where he will perform at the halftime show in Minneapolis. Earlier this week Justin met with Apple Music BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe to talk about the big game and failed to mention Janet Jackson by name, whom he royally fucked over when he was last invited to the stage. (To take a trip down memory lane—that was in 2004, he joined Janet during her set, grabbed a corner of her costume and exposed her right breast to all bijllion viewers at home and in the stadium.) He didn’t apologize, not once, and simply told Lowe he wouldn’t “do that again.”
In conclusion, Justin Timberlake is actually an insensitive dummy, or so clouded in privilege he’s lost sight of reality. Whatever the case, he fucking sucks now, dude.