Timbaland Slammed for Saying Justin Timberlake Should've "Put a Muzzle" on Britney Spears

The producer made controversial comments about the pop star's memoir at a recent event.

Britney Spears has just shared untold parts of her life story in her new memoir, The Woman in Me, including how she experienced her rise to fame, her relationships, and her controversial conservatorship. And now, one of her ex's collaborators has found himself in hot water after commenting on the book. Speaking at a recent event, producer Timbaland said Justin Timberlake should have "put a muzzle" on former girlfriend Spears regarding what she wrote about him.

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Timbaland was speaking to fellow producer 9th Wonder at the Kennedy Center when the subject of Spears' book came up. The former has worked with Timberlake several times over the years, notably, producing his 2002 single "Cry Me a River," which was inspired by his relationship with Spears. The video for that single starred a Spears lookalike and is about a man exacting his revenge after finding out a woman is cheating on him.

At the Oct. 29 event, Timbaland spoke about working with Timberlake, and an audience member asked the producer about "Cry Me a River" being in the news again thanks to The Woman in Me. "She going crazy, right?" Timbaland said of Spears. "I wanted to call and say, 'JT, man, you gotta put a muzzle on that girl.'" The video clip went viral online over a week later.

Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears at the premiere of "Crossroads" in 2002
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

The Woman in Me has made headlines for what claims Spears makes about Timberlake, who she dated from 199 to 2002. As reported by the New York Post, she wrote that the "Sexyback" singer encouraged her to get an abortion when she became pregnant by him in 2000. She also claimed that she and Timberlake both cheated on each other in the relationship, though he characterized her as the unfaithful partner. Best Life has reached out to a representative for Timberlake for comment.

Timbaland was slammed for suggesting that Timberlake "muzzle" his ex-girlfriend. "I'd say let's cancel timbaland but there's nothing of him left to cancel in 2023. It's not 2008 anymore so he's no longer relevant in contrast to Britney who's timeless," wrote one user on X (formerly Twitter). Another posted, "Let it be known @Timbaland that it's not just @britneyspears fans that want you to apologize..it's women like myself who are not necessarily a fan of hers but know the importance of women's rights. She was silenced long enough!"

Someone else referred to Spears' conservatorship, which ended after 13 years in 2021. "Saying a woman who was in a 13-year conservatorship should have a muzzle put on her because she can finally tell her story through a memoir is gross," that poster said. Another user added, "Put a muzzle on someone for speaking their truth to save face for your boy???? @Timbaland BYE."

Some fans also brought up comments Timbaland made about late singer Aaliyah in 2011. On an episode of E! True Hollywood Story, Timbaland said that he was in love with Aaliyah when they first met. At the time, she was 16 and he was 23, as reported by Complex. "Timbaland is the one who needs a muzzle. We didn't forget about his gross Aaliyah comments," an X user wrote. Other commenters posited that Timbaland was bitter that Spears never worked with him.

As reported by Jezebel, Timbaland apologized on TikTok Live not long after the video of his comments began circulating on social media.

"I'm sorry to all the Britney fans—even to her," the 51-year-old said. "If she never saw the… I'm sorry, 'cause 'muzzle' was… No, you have a voice. You speak what you want to speak. Who am I to tell you want not to speak? And I was wrong, you know, for saying that." He also said that he had been looking at the situation "from a different lens."

His apology did not go over well.

"I tried watching a minute of @Timbaland apologizing and it made me despise his self centered egotistic self. Apologize and shut up. Don't excuse don't gas yourself up," an X user posted. A Spears fan posted, "The one thing @Timbaland jumping on TikTok live tonight and delivering that sham of an apology showed is that a man cannot be misogynistic in 2023 and get away with it like they did in the early 2000s and @Timbaland learned that today. We love you Britney."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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