Timbaland apologizes to Britney Spears after receiving backlash for his ‘muzzle’ comment

Timbaland apologizes to Britney Spears after receiving backlash for his 'muzzle' comment
Credit: @britneyspears

The renowned record producer who produced many hit singles and LPs for Justin Timberlake, such as FutureSex/LoveSounds (2007) and The 20/20 Experience (2013), is under a lot of fire for the ill-worded comment he made about Britney Spears. Timbaland stated that the pop star’s ex-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, should have put a “muzzle” on Spears following the release of her best-selling memoir, “The Woman in Me,” which included some bombshell revelations about their relationship. 

During a conversation at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts last month on October 29, 2023, a clip circulating online features a member of the audience asking Timbaland about his “Cry Me a River” collaboration with Timberlake. 

The audience member stood to question the producer about the single, which, even after being released, has been in the news amid major revelations being mentioned in Spears’ memoir. To this, the 51-year-old music producer said, “She going crazy. I wanted to call and say, ‘JT, you gotta put a muzzle on that girl.'” Further adding, “But you know what? We live in an age of social media and everybody wanna go viral. I get it, because that’s the way you make money. Go viral.” 

“I gotta do something to get people’s attention,” he said.

After his comments spread like wildfire all over social media, it sparked major outrage among fans and critics alike. Timbaland has faced severe backlash that has been termed misogyny directed towards the iconic pop sensation for speaking her truth to the world after being freed from the conservatorship, which was terminated following her public testimony in which she accused her management team and family of abuse. 

Due to the poor nature of the comment, Timbaland has now come forward to publicly apologize for his insensitive remark, aiming to mend the damage caused by his words.

Timbaland quickly took to TikTok this week to apologize and expressed deep regret for his words, “I’m sorry to all the Britney fans, even to her,” he said in a live video. Further reiterating, “I’m sorry, because muzzle was – no, you have a voice. You speak what you want to speak. Who am I to tell you what not to speak? And I was wrong for saying that.” The “My Way” musician also replied to a user asking if he respected women. Timbaland concluded his apology by adding, “Hell yeah.”

“The Woman in Me,” was published on October 24, 2023, by Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. Since its release, it has received praise from critics. Within a week of its release in the United States, the book became a New York Times best-seller, selling 1.1 million copies in all formats. As of November 2023, it had sold an estimated 2.4 million copies globally. The memoir details  Spears’s journey to stardom, the publicized challenges she faced, and her endeavors to break free from a longstanding conservatorship that once controlled her life.

The official synopsis of the memoir reads: 

In June 2021, the whole world was listening as Britney Spears spoke in open court. The impact of sharing her voice—her truth—was undeniable, and it changed the course of her life and the lives of countless others. The Woman in Me reveals for the first time her incredible journey—and the strength at the core of one of the greatest performers in pop music history. Written with remarkable candor and humor, Spears’s groundbreaking book illuminates the enduring power of music and love—and the importance of a woman telling her own story, on her own terms, at last. 

The memoir was released in audiobook format simultaneously with the other editions, which are now available to purchase through the official website.