You can always rely on the internet to provide a vicious loop of reminders after you fuck up and fail to acknowledge said fuckup in a meaningful (or restorative) way. If he isn’t already aware of this—and, man, there’s such a good chance he isn’t—Justin Timberlake is currently caught up in this exact situation. JT wore a #TimesUp pin—a visual representation of a movement dedicated to ending sexual assault and harassment in the workplace—to the 2018 Golden Globes just months after starring in alleged sexual predator Woody Allen’s latest film.
Yesterday, he tweeted out a pretty benign question to his followers about the meaning of a classic colloquialism—“You just want your cake and to eat it too” (awkward phrasing, Justin). Moments later, Dylan Farrow, Allen’s adopted stepdaughter who accused him of sexually assaulting her as a child, explained the idiom by swiftly upending his ally posturing:
With a new album and Super Bowl appearance on the immediate horizon, it’s highly unlikely that Timberlake will acknowledge his hypocritical commitment to ending sexual violence in Hollywood. At the end of the day, a pin is just a physical hashtag—an empty way to signify solidarity for a cause that you might not understand. After Timberlake’s stumble through the #TimesUp movement and obliviously naming a disco love song “Take Back the Night,” borrowing the title from an organization dedicated to ending sexual violence against women, it’s clear the dude will probably never get it.
Farrow, however, bravely continues to relive her trauma with the hope that something will change—most recently in her first television interview about the allegations last Thursday, on CBS News. She took actors like Timberlake to task for continuing to work with her adoptive father after decades of speaking about his alleged abuse.
While it remains to be seen if Allen will make another movie, with many of his past collaborators pledging to end their working relationship, Timberlake may not get a chance to make the same mistake twice. He’ll have no problem coming up with other ways to want his cake and eat it too.