Welcome back to Going Downs, a newsletter about the intersection of celebrity and politics.
Lotta celebrities x politics updates this week!
Actress Gina Carano got fired from The Mandalorian for posting lots of anti-Semitic and anti-Vaxxer garbage. But, it’s okay, Ben Shapiro is going to make a movie with her that nobody will ever see.
Chris Harrison of The Bachelor had to apologize for defending the racist actions of one of this season’s contestants in a really weird interview.
Celebrities like John Cho, Daniel Dae Kim, and Olivia Munn are speaking out and shedding light on anti-Asian hate crimes.
This doesn’t count as politics, I guess, but I’m feeling bad for Bam Margera. I love Jackass, but why didn’t the OG crew just hire some new kids (and make the group have women, LGTBQ folx and POCs)? Everybody would still get to be Executive Producers on the next film, we’d be introduced to some great new physical comedians, and we wouldn’t have to see these men permanently damage their bodies.
Now, onto Britney.
If you haven’t seen Framing Britney Spears by now, you should! It’s a great recap of everything that’s been going on. I’ve talked about #FREEBRITNEY before, in this long post I did about the FB movement sort of taking on BLM branding, and getting more heated last summer.
Since the doc has come out, there’s been some interesting revelations: Jaime Spears (Brit’s Dad) is now a co-conservator with a wealth management firm (instead of the sole conservator), Sam Asghari, Britney’s boyfriend, called Jaime a “total dick,” Sarah Silverman apologized for jokes she made about Britney on TV, and some impersonators got on a Free Britney Virtual Rally, pretending to be Jaime Lynn Spears and Lou Taylor (Britney’s sister and ex-manager).
The Biggest Britney News of the Week is that Justin Timberlake Apologized to Britney…Sort of
One of the most heart-wrenching moments of Framing Britney is a sequence that showcases how Justin Timberlake used misogyny to help the media paint Britney as a villain. He spoke about taking her virginity, used a body double of hers in a music video about cheating, and fueled the fire of rumors against Britney to discredit her as an artist and a mother.
In this Notes App Apology (TM), Timberlake did not only not follow the tenets of a good apology, he weirdly grouped his remorse for treating Britney Spears horribly with his remorse for treating Janet Jackson badly at the 2005 Superbowl.
It’s kind of like getting into a fender bender with one person, then six years later, running your bicycle into another person’s car, then issuing an apology for both. What happened to Britney is nothing like what happened to Janet Jackson.
Now I understand that Timberlake was getting Janet fans Tweeting at him (as he probably does every Superbowl?) last Sunday alongside viewers who watched Framing Britney, which was released Friday. But revenge-shaming your Ex, like Timberlake did with Britney, and exposing Janet Jackson, not defending her, then helping the media ruin her career is another thing. With Britney, Timberlake leaned into Spears’ mental health struggles to help the media craft the “hysteric trainwreck” sexist stereotype; with Jackson, Timberlake leaned into racist stereotypes about promiscuity. What I’m getting at here is:
The only thing that Janet and Britney have in common are that they are both women.
And that my friends is sexism. In a nutshell.
Earlier this week I summonsed Timberlake to The Red Table, but I have yet to see that episode announced. Instead, I thought I’d provide you all with some ye old internet detritus of Justin Timberlake being bad to Britney Spears for no apparent reason other than male superiority and cruelty.
Times When JT Was Bad To Britney from Ye Olde Internet
“I remember when she lost her mind,” god I watched this live. He also sang, “They tried to make her go to rehab,” this was 2007.
Here he calls Britney a “Madonna wannabe” and discusses feeling cucked when Britney kissed Madonna.
In the clip after that, he asserts in an SNL sketch that Britney lied about her virginity.
Here’s this, mocking the head shaving.
Shrugs when asked about Britney’s virginity and kind of mocks it, “Sure.”
Here’s one from 2018 when he says, “Las Vegas residencies feel like retirement,” and “they’re scary,” when asked about Britney’s shows.
They broke up in 2002.
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