Los Angeles: Justin Timberlake came under fire from critics on social media for praising Jesse Williams' moving speech at the BET Awards.
Justin Timberlake. Pic/Santa Banta
The "Grey's Anatomy" actor and activist gave a powerful, impassioned speech about the Black Lives Matter movement and racial equality as he picked up the Humanitarian Award at the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards in Los Angeles, reported
Many praised Williams for his words online, including Justin Timberlake, who wrote, "@iJesseWilliams tho (though)...#Inspired #BET2016," and promptly became a target for critics, who accused him of hypocrisy.
One person, using the name Ernest Owens, wrote, "So does this mean you're going to stop appropriating our music and culture? And apologise to Janet too. #BETAwards," and Justin replied, "Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realise that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation... Bye."
His response angered critics, and Timberlake returned to Twitter just over an hour later to apologise in a series of tweets.
"I feel misunderstood," he wrote.
"I responded to a specific tweet that wasn't meant to be a general response. I shouldn't have responded anyway... I forget this forum sometimes... I was truly inspired by @iJesseWilliams speech because I really do feel that we are all one... A human race.
"I apologise to anyone that felt I was out of turn. I have nothing but LOVE FOR YOU AND ALL OF US. --JT."