Justin Timberlake is headed back to the Super Bowl to perform the halftime show for a record third time. However, not everyone is celebrating the pop star’s return to the most watched television event of the year.
Pepsi and the NFL’s announcement that Timberlake would be headlining the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show was promptly met with accusations of white privilege stemming from Timberlake’s last halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.
At that show, Timberlake was joined by Janet Jackson. In a moment that will forever live in infamy, Jackson exposed her breast on live television and later apologized for the incident.
But the fact that Timberlake is returning to the Super Bowl some 13 years later, while Jackson is not, has some calling out the move for white privilege. “[Timberlake] still ensuring white privilege remains in style in 2017,” said journalist Ernest Owens on Twitter. “Meanwhile, Janet Jackson is still left in the cold.”
Owens wrote an article for The Grio in September, blasting Timberlake shortly after it was reported that Timberlake and the NFL were in the process of finalizing a deal for the halftime show. In the article, he said that Timberlake is the “worst kind of white person,” and is arguably worse than “blatant bigots we often assume serve as the only form of anti-Blackness.”
Calling Timberlake a “famed cultural appropriator,” Owens added that “the self-proclaimed ‘President of Pop’ has no qualms being the white boy who has capitalized off of Black culture for mainstream appeal.”
It goes to show that one way or another, you can always make something about race. And, where else would the left be without race-baiting and identity politics?