Timbaland apologises for saying Justin Timberlake should put a 'muzzle' on Britney Spears

He has faced a huge amount of backlash for his recent comments

Timbaland and Justin Timberlake
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Timbaland has apologised for comments he made about Britney Spears amid the release of her memoir, after receiving backlash from fans. According to BBC News, during a live event at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the music producer was asked about the fresh wave of interest in Justin Timberlake's 2002 hit Cry Me A River which Timbaland co-wrote. The song has been in the news recently due to a number of revelations Britney made in her book, The Woman in Me, which has changed fans' perspective on the hit and the accompanying music video.

In response, Timbaland said: "I wanted to call JT and say, 'Man! You should have put a muzzle on that girl.'" In a disturbing clip, the audience could be heard laughing heartily at this. 

Many people took to social media to condemn Timbaland's comment, with one person writing: "Imagine in 2023 saying a woman should have a muzzle put on her for speaking her truth, ESPECIALLY after 13 years of abuse & silence. Timbaland is such a misogynistic piece of s**t. I’m so grossed out right now."

Following the backlash, Timbaland apologised in a TikTok live-stream. "There’s no explanation, nothing," he said of the incident (via People). "Put a muzzle, yo, what the freak was I thinking about? I should have never said it ... To all the Britney fans, you’re right and I’m wrong. I can look outside myself and say that wasn’t a joke and that wasn’t a nice thing to say. I apologise to the Britney fans, and her."

In her memoir, Britney revealed that Justin had repeatedly cheated on her during their three-year relationship, and that she had once cheated on him with choreographer Wade Robson. She also opened up about having an abortion after falling pregnant during their relationship, admitting that she wouldn't have done so had Justin felt ready to have a child at that time.

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn is a celebrity and royal news writer for Marie Claire. As a London-based freelance journalist, she writes about wellness, relationships, pop culture, beauty and more for the likes of InStyle, Women's Health, Bustle, Stylist and Red. Aside from her quasi-personal investment in celebs' comings and goings, Iris is especially interested in debunking diet culture and destigmatising mental health struggles. Previously, she was the associate editor for Her Campus, where she oversaw the style and beauty news sections, as well as producing gift guides, personal essays and celebrity interviews. There, she worked remotely from Los Angeles, after returning from a three-month stint as an editorial intern for Cosmopolitan.com in New York. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles, she interned at goop and C California Style and served as Her Campus' national style and LGBTQ+ editor. Iris was born and raised in France by a French father and an English mother. Her Spotify Wrapped is riddled with country music and One Direction, and she can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.