Timbaland Apologizes for Saying Britney Spears Should Have Been Muzzled

“I’m sorry to all the Britney fans...even to her," the producer said on TikTok Live. Even to Britney? Wow, such generosity.

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Timbaland Apologizes for Saying Britney Spears Should Have Been Muzzled
Photo:L: Jason Koerner; R: Steve Granitz/WireImage (Getty Images)

Mere hours after a clip began to circulate in which once-visionary producer Timbaland suggested that his frequent collaborator Justin Timberlake should have “put a muzzle” on Britney Spears, Timbaland apologized on Tuesday night.

It might have been a record-breaking outrage-to-apology timeline. Though the comment was actually made more than a week ago, on October 29 during a talk alongside fellow producer 9th Wonder at the Kennedy Center, it didn’t go viral until Tuesday. Timbaland made the gross comment in reference to Spears’ headline-grabbing memoir, The Woman in Me, which came out late last month. He also remarked that Spears was “going crazy” and that, “We live in an age of social media and viral, everybody want to go viral. I get it ‘cause that’s the way you make money, go viral. I gotta do something to get people’s attention.”

Ironic that Timbaland himself should go viral by discussing someone else’s perceived attempt to do so. Funny also that he should mention muzzling, which is more or less what Timberlake reportedly tried to do to Spears via a lawsuit threat about allegations in her memoir—including that she had an abortion at age 19 at his urging. Completely clueless to discuss Spears’ mental health so insensitively, as well as fail to realize that she was basically muzzled for some 13 years through a conservatorship and that in fact the very theme of her book is showing who she is without a muzzle and presenting “the woman in me [who] was pushed down for a long time.”

As one could predict, Spears fans did not take kindly to Timbaland’s criticism, with some pointing out that, in the aughts, the producer had expressed interest in working with her only to be apparently rebuffed. So Tuesday night, Timbaland took to TikTok Live to say, “I’m sorry to all the Britney fans…even to her!” Even to Britney? Wow, such generosity.

“You have a voice. You speak what you wanna speak. Who am I to tell you what not to speak? And I was wrong for saying that,” he said, before a rambling explanation about how “looking at it from a different lens” led him to his comments. It gets real blah blah blah after that, which is, given the poorly chosen words of the comments that initially got him in hot water, hardly a surprise.

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