Widely popular entertainer Justin Timberlake took a rare stance during Sunday night’s live 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards telecast by speaking up for the common outcast, according to E! News.
The 36-year-old vocalist was on-hand at the Forum in Inglewood, California, to pick up a Best Song trophy for “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” the theme to Dreamwork’s recent animated hit Trolls, when he touched on the hopeful meaning behind the tune’s creation.
“I wrote this song because I wanted it to be about inclusion, about being together,” Timberlake explained to the audience during his acceptance speech.
“And so, I guess I want to take this opportunity to speak to young people right now, because there’s a lot of you looking at me.”
Without prior warning, Justin then began recalling several disparaging moments from his come-up as a pop artist and likening them to the differences of both the LGBT community and other minorities.
“If you are black or you are brown, or you are gay, or you are lesbian, or you are trans, or maybe you’re just a sissy singing boy from Tennessee,” he noted.
“Anyone that is treating you unkindly, it’s only because they are afraid or they have been taught to be afraid of how important you are.”
After a return of thunderous applause from the audience, Timberlake closed his commentary with an inspirational message about pressing on in the face of any adversity.
“Because being different means you make the difference,” he relayed, “so f**k them. Thank you so much for this. I love you guys, have a great night.”
Watch the touching moment below.
Despite the obvious well-intent of his wording, Justin Timberlake’s kindhearted 2017 iHeartRadio Awards declaration comes about a year after the singer seemingly couldn’t sense the tone of another speech given by Hollywood peer Jesse Williams, star of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, at the 2016 BET Awards last June, as Mashable notes.
Following Williams’ impassioned award show address, where he partially called out white celebrities on their repeated African-American culture appropriation offenses, Timberlake took to Twitter to laud the actor for his stance, but incidentally forgot several of his own past problematic actions, including his long silent stance on the hand he had with Janet Jackson’s ongoing media ban following their Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime performance in 2003, as relayed in an earlier Inquisitr post.
Even worse for Justin, his response to the claim came off as sounding completely flippant and ignorant to the outcry that many black music listeners have had with not just “blue-eyed soul” singers, but white people overall who lessen the importance of racially-charged topics with indifference.
“Oh, you sweet soul,” he fired back in a now-deleted tweet.
“The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation.”
Hours later and after a horde of frustrated Twitter users attempted to steer him right, Justin would apologize for his reaction and once again seemingly miss the point by playing the part of a self-made victim in the aftermath.
“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— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) June 27, 2016
Along with his Best Song nod, the singer was also up for Best Song from a Movie and Best Music Video, both also for “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” but sadly, he was victorious in neither of those 2017 iHeartRadio Awards categories, as a separate E! News article shares (pop-rock group 5 Seconds of Summer and crooner Zayn Malik, formerly of One Direction, were the respective winners).
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]