The music producer Timbaland set off fans of Britney Spears on Tuesday after recent remarks he made urging her ex Justin Timberlake to ‘muzzle’ her resurfaced.
The 51-year-old superproducer found himself in fans’ crosshairs after video began circulating widely from a conversation with fellow producer 9th Wonder at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., which was recorded on October 30.
In video from Sounds Architects: A Producer Conversation, an audience member is heard asking Timbaland (real name: Timothy Zachery Mosley) about Justin’s song Cry Me A River, a breakup song inspired by his split from Britney, which the audience member mentioned was in the news again thanks to Britney’s new memoir The Woman In Me.
But Timbaland cuts off the question to insult the 41-year-old pop superstar as ‘crazy,’ before opining about how Justin should have silenced her.
In her memoir, Britney includes several shocking revelations about her relationship with Timberlake, including claims that he got her pregnant and then urged her to have an abortion because he ‘wasn’t ready’ to be a father.
Shocking statement: Timbaland, 51, started a firestorm on social media after video circulated of him saying his regular collaborator Justin Timberlake should have ‘muzzled’ Britney Spears; pictured November 2 in Austin, Texas
In the headlines: The producer spoke out after an audience member asked about Britney’s memoir, which included claims that she had an abortion at Justin’s urging; seen together in 2002
It’s difficult to decipher what Timbaland initially says as he begins talking over the person asking about Cry Me A River, but then he says, ‘She’s going crazy, right?’
The line prompts large laughs within the auditorium.
After it died down, he continued: ‘I wanted to call and say, “JT, you gotta put a muzzle on that girl!”‘
Timbaland sounded slightly more reflective as he continued: ‘You know what, we live in an age of social media and viral [sic] — everybody wanna go viral.
‘I get it, because that’s the way you make money — go viral. “I gotta do something to get people’s attention,”‘ he added.
The people in the audience may have gotten a chuckle out of Timbaland’s comments, but it was a different story on social media, where fans of Britney Spears blasted the hitmaker on X (formerly known as Twitter).
‘Another man trying to silence a woman from speaking her truth that fits on brand more a misogynist,’ wrote one user, who added, ‘F*** you timbaland.’
Others used the controversy to opine that Timbaland wasn’t even a competent record producer.
‘Can we finally admit there’s at least 30 producers better than timbaland now,’ tweeted another person.
One common insult to the producer involved fans referencing reports that Britney had refused his offers to produce for her in the mid-2000s.
Britney Spears dances in VERY skimpy shorts and bright crop tops
Furious: Timbaland also called Spears ‘crazy’ in the clip, which led fans to label him a ‘misogynist’
Lashing out: Some used the controversy to opine that Timbaland wasn’t even a competent record producer
Shoved aside: One common insult to the producer involved fans referencing reports that Britney had refused his offers to produce for her in the mid-2000s and instead worked with his regular co-producer Danja
Awkward: Some fans referenced an interview in which he said he tried to get Britney to make a ‘comeback’ record as a duet with Justin
Instead, she worked with Timbaland’s regular co-producer Danja on several tracks that appeared on her Blackout and Circus albums.
Timbaland had admitted to consulting with Justin about a potential collaboration with Britney, though nothing ever came of the idea.
One fan claimed Timbaland was still ‘bitter’ after ‘Britney left him hanging in the studio’ and worked with his regular collaborator instead.
‘His misogynistic self wanted her to collab with Jason,’ they added, referencing Timbaland’s own statements
‘She has no comeback story. That’s the problem,’ he told MTV News, via CBS. ‘She has to have a team. She needs to come back with Justin doing records; ‘then we’d see headlines like,] “She went back to her ex and she’s making smashes!”
‘[But instead she got] so big-headed and [was] like, “Screw you, screw you, I don’t need anybody.”‘
Timbaland then told MTV News that he would only work with Spears in the future if she would ‘humble herself’ and make a phone call to apologize to him and admit that she was ‘wrong.’
Other Britney Spears defenders referenced past comments Timbaland made in which he said he was in ‘love’ with the late singer Aaliyah when she was around 16 and he would have been 23.
‘Creepy Timbaland who said he was sexually attracted to teenage Aaliyah and became so obsessed with her he married someone who looked just like her is a misogynist? Shocked!’ read one sarcastic post about the producer.
Another person joked that the ‘karma’ was ‘coming your way’ and that someone should ‘put a muzzle on this man’ over his earlier comments about the R&B singer.
Britney superfans hit the streets of London following book release
Needs backup? ‘She has no comeback story. That’s the problem,’ he told MTV News, via CBS. ‘She has to have a team. She needs to come back with Justin doing records’
Making amends for what? Timbaland then told MTV News that he would only work with Spears in the future if she would ‘humble herself’ and make a phone call to apologize to him and admit that she was ‘wrong’
Yikes! Other Britney Spears defenders referenced past comments Timbaland made in which he said he was in ‘love’ with the late singer Aaliyah when she was around 16 and he would have been 23; Aaliyah pictured in 2000
Didn’t see that coming: One user joked that they were ‘shocked’ that Timbaland could be a ‘misogynist’ after his previous comments about Aaliyah
Out of bounds: Others noted that Aaliyah was underage when Timbaland reported pined for her. ‘Someone put a muzzle on this man,’ joked one user
Hard-hitting: One fan even accused Timbaland of marrying his wife just because she allegedly looked like Aaliyah
Unfollowed? Timbaland’s comments may have irked another musical superstar, Madonna, as some of her fans noticed that she appeared to have unfollowed him at some point, though it’s unclear when
Another person had the same thought, claiming they thought Timbaland needed to be muzzled ‘when he said he saw Aaliyah and fell in love despite her being 16 to his 23 & even married his wife cause she looked like the late artist.’
Timbaland’s comments may have irked another musical superstar, Madonna, as some of her fans noticed that she appeared to have unfollowed him at some point, though it’s unclear when.
Madonna has been a fierce defender of Britney in the wake of the dissolution of her years-long conservatorship, and the two shared a kiss — along with Christina Aguilera — at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.
The event was immortalized not just by the scandalous locking of lips, but also because the cameras cut away to show Justin Timberlake’s seemingly shocked face in the audience.