Two of Janet Jackson’s brothers shared their feelings about Justin Timberlake’s recent public apology to their sister.
“First of all, I just want to thank Justin Timberlake,” Marlon Jackson told Andy Cohen on his Radio Andy talk show on Wednesday. “It takes a man to step up and do that, so we do thank him for doing that.”
Jackie Jackson added, "It's nice he did something like that because it kind of hurt Janet in the past and for him to step up and say that, it means a whole lot."
Timberlake posted a lengthy message on Instagram in February, apologizing specifically to both Janet Jackson and Britney Spears for times he “did not speak up for what was right.”
In Jackson's case, the “Cry Me a River” singer was referring to the backlash following the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, when he accidentally exposed Jackson’s breast on live TV.
After the incident, Timberlake’s solo career skyrocketed, whereas Jackson was dropped as a presenter at the Grammys that year and saw her music and videos banned by Clear Channel Communications' radio stations and TV channels.
The cultural blacklisting of Jackson following the "wardrobe malfunction" came under fresh scrutiny thanks to a recent documentary, "Framing Britney Spears."
The documentary explored Timberlake's treatment of Spears after their split in 2002, and it also sparked a conversation about gender and racial double standards that informed how differently Timberlake and Jackson were viewed after the Super Bowl incident.
In his apology, Timberlake acknowledged his privileges as a white male artist.
“I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right,” he wrote. “I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.
“I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed," he added.
Marlon Jackson on Wednesday commended Timberlake for his apology.
“We’d like to move forward,” he said. “It was out there, the negativity about it, but, you know, as they said in the old days, as long as they’re talking about you, good or bad, you’re still in the public’s eye. And we thank you, Justin, for what you’re doing, for what you did.”
Janet Jackson herself has not directly commented on Timberlake's apology. She did thank fans in February after her 1986 album, "Control," soared to the top of the charts, as her supporters rallied around her in the wake of the "Framing Britney Spears" documentary.
"You’re so special to me,” she said in an emotional Twitter video. “And I want to thank all of you for making ‘Control’ number one, once again, after 35 years.”