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Justin Timberlake Gets Slammed for Reaction to Jesse Williams’ 2016 BET Awards Speech

Can’t we all just love? Justin Timberlake found himself in the middle of a ferocious Twitter storm on Sunday, June 26, when his complimentary comment about Jesse Williams‘ 2016 BET Awards speech didn’t go down quite the way he’d hoped.

Justin Timberlake took a bashing on Twitter after trying to congratulate Jesse Williams
Justin Timberlake took a bashing on Twitter after trying to congratulate Jesse Williams JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images

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The “Can’t Stop the Feeling” singer took to social media to commend Grey’s Anatomy star Williams for the impassioned and moving speech he gave in acceptance for his Humanitarian Award.

“This invention called whiteness uses and abuses us,” Williams, 34, said. “Burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil — black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations, then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.”

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But while Timberlake, 35, intended to heap praise on Williams for his moving words, Twitter took his message in an entirely different way.

“@iJesseWilliams tho…#Inspired #BET2016,” Timberlake wrote, before the backlash immediately started.

People instantly accused the singer for of being hypocritical, for benefiting from black culture while not championing the Black Lives Matter cause. They also took shots at him for his reaction following Janet Jackson‘s wardrobe malfunction during their Super Bowl performance in 2004.

“Did you like the part when Jesse talked about white people stealing from us? That should resonate with you,” blasted one Twitter user.

Related: PHOTOS: Celebs Fight Back on Twitter!

Added another, “So does this mean you’re going to stop appropriating our music and culture? And apologize to Janet too?”

Timberlake decided to respond: “Oh, you sweet soul,” Timberlake wrote. “The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation.”

But when the barrage of insults just got more extreme, the former boy bander decided it was time to explain his actions.

“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…” he added.

“I forget this forum sometimes…” he went on. “I was truly inspired by @iJesseWilliams speech because I really do feel that we are all one… A human race. I apologize to anyone that felt I was out of turn. I have nothing but LOVE FOR YOU AND ALL OF US. –JT.”

Check out Christina Garibaldi and Justin Ravitz dishing on this story during Us Weekly’s Facebook Live News Update.

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