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How Can Justin Timberlake Still Objectify Black Women And Get Away With It?

timberlake.jpgSomeone please explain why Justin Timberlake continually gets a pass
to fetishize and exploit the
image of Black women. Right now. Because after watching him
aggressively pulling on a chain wrapped around Ciara's neck only to
later use her bending body as a leaning post in her new video for "Love
Sex Magic,"
it's getting ludicrously difficult to understand.

It been years since "Nipplegate" after which he
distanced himself from Janet Jackson, cowardly allowing her to endure
the overly harsh criticism alone. The outcry against his actions from those of us in the indignant minority
was quickly overshadowed by an increase in album sales, multiple music
awards and an increase in his Pop stardom miming Black music
and culture. Instead of subjecting his next project with trepidation--let alone dismissal--nearly every "urban" club, radio station and
music channel on the planet had the masses bumping to a song with a
hook that's about shackles, whipping and slavery.

From behind a wry smile and with his hair faded he actually tarnished a
reigning, Black Pop star's image arguably beyond repair by exposing her
breast on national television and then built his street cred further by
bringing sexy back, Middle Passage style. He's transitioned from the
post-racialist's pop culture dream of somewhat harmlessly lusting after
beautiful Black love interest in the video for "Like I Love You" into
something more sinister. He uses the scapegoat of S&M
edginess in which he is the aggressor, the dominant force, to
subordinate his object of desire when she is Black.

He distanced himself from those undertones in using shackles
(why not a different two syllable kinky word like handcuffs, Justin? Or
latex, like the piece you tore off of Miss Jackson?) and whipping in
the song by making himself the slave, and in the video by making lusty
faces with a White woman. But all of the soft edginess and ambgious
sexism and racism has become the central M.O. for him in the video for
"Love Sex Magic."

It's not even his song but in the video he's
in the opening scene, pulling on a chained Ciara. Whenever the two are
interacting she is doing all kinds of sexy acrobatics for him--crawling over him, stick out her ass for him to lean on, bumping him
with her breasts--but he can barely be bothered to look her in the
face half of the time...and he's on screen a lot. She looks desparate, and he looks like a pimp. As the video progresses and their roles
become more evident it gets more disgusting.

Yes, Ciara is grown and autonomous. So is Janet. But that just makes
his ability to exploit their collaborations to the point that they are
subjegated to his dominance, wittingly or not, more protestable.
Additionally, it seems that at this point active defense, tacit
approval, or even celebration of this behavior/persona is beyond
ignorant and only subjegates women further. The "that's capitalism" and
"it's just entertainment!" defenses also fall short because both are
integral aspects of our shared culture and have impact beyond the
superficialities of the music industry hustle and streaming videos
online. Dig deeper than that.

So the question stands: Why does he still get a pass?


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  • http://qhblend.blogspot.com QH

    Again, until black people come out against this clown and say enough, he'll continue to do it. So, I am proud to be someone who doesn't support him or his projects. Then again, ten years ago, he was wack when in N Sync, but there is no accounting for taste I suppose.-QH

  • Too narrow … expand your scope!

    To the writer of this article ... get real (Black Man married to Black Woman talking here).  Justin Timberlake (*wack*overrated*) did not enslave or cause the civil injustices forced upon black people that there is this obvious hatred of a white man making a video with a black woman in it because some dance moves are S&M-like, showing the white man to be asserting his dominance and prolonging the continued exploitation of black women in an objective way.  Um ... what?!?!?!?  Last I checked, the performers of these scenes are paid by money ... but more so >>> they are paid by the attention given to them.
    The audience that does not collectively speak out against the objectifying of women (never mind the race) is comparably guilty as the doers.  Justin Timberlake is a part of the problem by being in the situation as it is; however, attacking him is not the issue.  The women that put themselves into these positions to get a check are the sell-outs that contribute to the problem more than any one.  Imagine if you raise your daughters with the honor, self-respect, integrity, and love where she KNOWS and IS DRIVEN not to open wide for any man that shows the slightest hint of interest in her.  A massive change like that is needed.  You'd see record company's begin to push out better material such as sentiment from songs by ARTISTS like Kem, Kindred, Olu, etc.  This problem is much larger than Justin Timberlake.  The question isn't "how dare he?"  The objective here is "raise women, not sell-outs."  Love is prevalently absent in the hearts of many young black women due to absent upbringings countered by desperate attempts to gain that missing attention, and this is the kind of crap that happens in the commercial sphere as a result.  Record companies feed off this and capitalize on it every waking moment for a very simple reason:  it sells to the same demographic:  sell-outs.  Wake up Soul Bounce.  You should know better. 
    This is more than White Men dominating Black Women.  This is Women not asserting or not being raised to channel integrity into their cognition where they would not allow these situations to be thought of by men in such a lesser fashion.  If women continue to deny men things that should be a big deal (sex, intimacy, etc.) in favor of self-respect, the male and female thoughts that led women to being objectified would have long disappeared from the majority.  A massive turnaround is needed.  It starts at home and in the community, as some homes are cognitively ill equipped.  Your synopsis is too narrow to encompass the argument and very irresponsibly directed.  Re-write or retract.

  • http://cecily.info Cecily

    I'm not going to demonize the female artist in the way that "too narrow" has but I have to ask - how is this video different from the countless videos where black men objectify black women's bodies? Is it Justin's race that troubles the waters? In that respect, I agree with "Too Narrow" - that this kind of objectification happens at all is the problem, not the race of the perpetrator.
    I'll also add that Ciara seems like a grown woman fully in control of her sexuality, and if she chooses to get down this way on video, it's her choice. I don't have to like it, but I'm not going to beat her up for it either.
    To me the video reads like a sanitized, commercialized run of the mill D/s relationship. Those are the kinds of power dynamics at play when you're a submissive - often times you're put in the position of being the performer to catch your Dominant's attention. Maybe it's more startling because we don't often see black women as the actors in this scenario, they're usually the acted upon. Yet when I look at this, I see a woman in control of the situation.
    I guess it all depends on the lenses you're looking through.

  • sasha

    Would you be asking this asking this question if it was Usher or some other black r&b singer in the video? would you be asking this question if "nipplegate" never happened? It seems like you're still angry that he distanced himself from that whole fiasco, which i can't really fault him for.

  • http://www.thissht.blogspot.com B.Floyd

    I'm really glad someone approached this issue, because I felt the same way after watching Ciara's video. It amazes me that she'd be relegated to video hoe status in her own clip.
    While I think the Sexy/Back argument is stretching a little, I definitely agree that Justin Timberlake gets away with quite a bit. I don't understand how anyone could ever argue that it was appropriate for him to distance himself from the Janet incident, when he in fact was the one that physically removed a piece of her clothing that left her breast exposed. People went so hard, so easily on Janet, but immediately forgave the man that literally left her out their hanging.
    I don't think it's Justin Timberlake's intention to marginalize and objectify Black women --I don't think he's smart enough to realize the implications of his action-- but I do think the Black community needs to stop making excuses for a man that only respects them as far as he able to capitalize on them.
    And yes, I probably would be as upset if it were Usher that Ciara was crawling all over in the video, but then it would be more of a gender issue, as opposed to gender and race compounded.
    It's not okay for JT to be pulling Ciara by a leash.

  • http://qhblend.blogspot.com QH

    But this piece isn't discussing black men and their issues with black women, that is a separate forum which is always discussed. We are discussing how this man has made a career out of pillaging and siphoning black music, which a black audience supports him in doing.
    To me, this isn't an issue of Timberlake being a chauvinist. It is an issue of him not being held accountable for his actions in 2004 and what he has done in the ensuing years to ensure his survival, despite the fallout of the Superbowl. That's what this is about and why black acts, from Al Green to Ciara keep cooning it up with him.-QH

  • nOvaMatic

    Whatever. It's not about blaming JT. JT showed up to do a job. The question is, why is he (above other equally or more talented artists) continually called upon in light of his history?
    Trust us, if this was Robin Thicke, this wouldn't be an issue. This isn't about JT being white. It's about Justin Timberlake being Justin Timberlake. We also don't believe Black female artists should be working with Polow Da Don. Marinate.
    I'll be the first to admit that I enjoy JT's two albums, but I have never (even during his tenure with N*Sync) liked him. He's obnoxious, a coward, and a complete dick. And you can quote me on that as the owner of this website.
    As for the Janet matter, the response to and from both artists involved should've been equal. It was not. We live in a culture that continually throws Black women under the bus, whether its in film, tv, fasion, politics, or music. Yes, its a shame black women have to practically sell their ass to sell a record, but the industry and culture aren't set up for otherwise. Look at the plethora of underground/unsung artists we write about everyday that have the drive and the talent but couldn't be marketed to the mainstream because THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY HAS NO CLUE HOW PRESENT BLACK WOMEN.
    There is enough accountability to go around, people.
    And the question still hasn't been answered.

  • http://tiffanybbrown.com/ tiffany

    I agree with Cecily, and I'll add that it's a more powerful representation of black women than most hip-hop/R&B videos.
    Ciara is sexy and only half clothed, true.There's nothing new there when we look at black music videos. What IS new is that we have a black woman not only being desired, but to my eyes, one who in control of the situation. Justin may have a chain around her neck, but she told him to do it, and they both know where the pleasure-pain-consent line is drawn.
    That's a level of power and sexual agency you RARELY see displayed by women in videos, particularly black women. I MUCH prefer the idea of "kinky business between consenting, mutually respectful lovers" it to the "shaking booty trying to get some camera time" one.

  • scoop

    The short answer is because Ciara and Janet still need a check. Period. I believe the real question here is why do black female artists feel their relevancy lies in the hands of a while male pop star.

  • http://www.lynnedjohnson.com lynne

    I'm with Cecily and Tiffany on this, but I also think that the further problem is with youth and how they will interpret the video. Do they have the tools to decipher and understand the power/play, the sexual agency, or will they immediately think "ho" of Ciara as someone else in the comments has. In this case, this reminds me of when Lil Kim first came out and I thought she was the most powerful female rapper alive, while others thought she was a disgrace to the imagery of black women. But she too, was dominatrix, was in control, a position we're not used to seeing black women play.
    But overall, from nova's point, I understand that this post is specifically about why JT continues to get a pass. And this is a question I can not answer. I think it's a male thing. Not a JT thing, not a black or white thing either. Why does R. Kelly get a pass? Will CB get a pass after his situation with Ri-Ri boils over? Probably. I think in general, male entertainers (athletes, politicians, etc.) are not held accountable for their injustices be they toward women or others.

  • yo mama

    While working for a luxury retail outlet in New York City selling $700.00 denim jeans, one of the high end brands on our exclusive sales floor was Justin Timberlake's line, William Rast.
    I found it interesting that the t-shirts of this line had text that read something like "I Miss Old Dixieland" and such southern good old boy catch phrases. Nothing like a white boy who misses the good old racist south yanking a little black woman around by a chain to make you feel good and post racial.
    Old dixie is confederate flags, free labor, and lawlessness for white boys like...oh yeah, Justin Timberlake. I guess with Janet and Ciara so willing to be dominated on film and stage, he doesn't have to miss dixieland perks too much after all. yee haw!

  • http://hopelesslysarcastic.blogspot.com ill Mami

    You're right, nova. The question has not been answered. So here is my take on it.
    Justin was given a ghetto pass. Long ago, possibly 15+ years ago, him playing Janet out like he did would have warranted a much greater outcry from our people than the usual barbershop banter about how he played her out. The farther and farther away we get from quality music, the farther and farther away we get from ourselves. Referring to Black women as queens was once so commonplace I would barely flinch. Now women are relegated to being semen-receptacles in videos and I barely flinch.
    Music reflects who we are as a people in the present moment. Unfortuntately, it looks as though we are an oversexed, easily placated people. Until we are able to seriously demand more by investing our money and downloads into artists that are truly saying something meaningful---and this can be done in a sexy, titilating manner---the music business will continue as usual with no regard to the fact that WE exist.
    The only way to make some sort of a change is to do it virally, globally, and not locally. This would require the sort of unity that our country saw last year in November. It can happen again, and hopefully we're all not too jaded to exhausted to make this a reality.

  • Cocoahomme

    My good friend and I have a theory when it comes to Justin Timberlake to where we feel that if R&B/hip-hop was not the dominant genre of music that is taking over the charts and it was bubblegum POP, Justin wouldn't sing that type of music. It just seems like he only does this type of music bc it sells, afforded him a ghetto pass, given him some sort of streed cred. Whereas Robin Thicke's music seems more genuine IMO

  • http://tiffanybbrown.com/ tiffany

    i neglected to answer the pass question in my first comment.
    i think timberlake gets a pass because the lines between "black music" and "white music" (or pop and R&B) have blurred and melted into each other. once timbaland and the neptunes started producing everything and blurring genres, what was "insider" versus "outsider" (inside hip-hop/R&B versus not) changed a bit.
    jay-z filmed a video in monaco with danica patrick and was a budweiser spokesman. dale ernhardt jr had a black bandaid under the left headlight of his car when left eye died. justin timberlake appeared on 106 & Park and did collaborations with T.I. and beyonce. our pop music scene has become more integrated and JT is now an insider/cool kid member of this heavily black, but multi-racial and multi-ethnic, genre-bending club.
    in other words justin timberlake now gets the same pass as r. kelly because they're making music for (arguably) the same audience.
    as cecily said: that it happens at all is more of a problem, IMO. although i don't think ciara is objectified here; at no point does she become decoration.

  • lee

    ummm. it's a friggin video. it's ciara's video. this is obviously what she wanted to portray. i'm sure that JT did not have creative control over what was presented. he just showed up and got a check. why can't ciara get her freaky on and be dominated if that's what she likes? i don't care what any one says, that whole superbowl incident was STAGED! janet knew what she was getting into. we are still talking about it so obviously the publicity stunt worked.

  • tannie lee

    i'll preface this by saying that i liked the video.
    agreeing with novamatic, had this been Robin Thicke, or even Jon B., we would be cheering the "white boy" on.
    I'm tired of hearing about Justin Timberlake leaving Janet out to dry. I do agree that he was a coward for not speaking up on her behalf, but that has nothing to do with this video.
    this video is about two young artist who are exploiting, just like every other artist, the well known fact that sex sells. They're going to make their videos extremely sexual with the hopes that it grabs the attention of young viewers, and their albums make money....
    that's the long and the short of it.
    to the reference of his "dixieland" shirts and clothing line.....my mother is from the south....everytime she went "down home", she would get cotton to bring back and use as decorations. the cotton reminded her of where she was from. she did not sit and reminisce about the ante-bellum south because the cotton was there. i say that to say this, people tend to have a certain admiration for the history of where there from. all of the history.....that does not make someone a racist.....the fact that the boy had that on his shirts does not mean that he holds some kind of biggoted views of black people. he is from dixie-land. As a person with a degree in African American studies, I whole-heartedly understand where you are coming from. However, I think you were digging a little far with that one.
    the bigger issue here is, as i said before, the audience at which they are trying to lure in with this video. i am 23 and i have no time to sit at home and watch videos. those individuals that are normally afforded this time are typically young children and teenagers. thats my problem. i think this video is ok for an adult audience that is mature enough to take it for what it is: entertainment. But children, and teenagers alike, take these images, mimic them, and that's wherein the problem lies.

  • Afrika

    SoulBounce, you guys are fierce and I love you for bringing this disturbing issue to light. The video utterly disgusts me. Ciara is in a cage, dressed in animal print as if she is an animal, and she is doing all these animalistic body movements to please her a man, who happens to be white. White man and his animal negress, rings a bell? And don't even get me started about the ciara being chained by Justin to a leash, again stressing on her animal inclinations. It is just disgusting, utterly disgusting.

  • lee

    also, last time i checked entertainers (not artists) will do whatever to entertain and be seen. they ain't doin this for the craft or the love of any art form. well all know that entertainers are all about their own EGO and what will keep them popular. so you might be right, he probably is a good ol' boy pretending to be all into black women but really. who. cares. i don't support either entertainer b/c they both suck IMO. if country because the IT music i bet your ol' boy will be all into girls named daisy and making country albums.

  • http://www.lynnedjohnson.com lynne

    See, I agree with Tannie Lee at the end of the statement there. I'm more concerned about how these images are perceived by young folk. For grown folk, I say get over it, it is entertainment plain and simple. I think we're reading a bit too deeply into it. JJ and JT = entertainment. They both knew what they were doing and the consequences. They practiced that dance.
    Sometimes we put race into spaces where it isn't as much as an issue as we portray it to be. Sometimes we put gender relations in terms of misogyny into spaces where it isn't intended to be. IMO. Ask Ciara if she felt degraded in this video? Ask Ciara if she felt that the images she's representing affords JT some pass and code into a cross-cultural space in which he shouldn't be allowed.

  • Lauren

    Well this is the exact OPPOSITE of what CIARA said the video was meant to be about. I saw an interview with her and JUSTIN about the video, and when she explained the concept she said that she was the one in control. She said he was pretty much her "boy toy throughout the whole video" Justin then said that "she's basically using me as a prop" There you have it, she was the one in control, i feel like people are misinterpreting the video..if you want to hear it straight from her mouth..
    http://sincerelyciara.com/
    there it is

  • Afrika

    Whether Ciara is fine with the concept or just wants a paycheck is inconsequential. The argument is that such videos continue to dehumanize black women.
    If Justin is suppose to be the prop, why is Ciara the one in the cage? why is Justin holding the leash chained to Ciara? why is Ciara serenading him in a cage? It is crystal clear. And Ciara is wearing animal print, a fabric which has long been used to portray black women as animals. Dancing in a cage, wearing animal print and serenading a white man? I mean, can we get any more obvious than that?

  • Kellz

    I agree w/ Scoop, Tiff and Nova.
    He DID NOT create the concept, direct/shoot/produce the video or basically do ANYTHING beside his job as a cameo. So why u jumping on him? "Yes" what he did to Janet was some BS BUT we all know Janet's ass AGREED to do it. So why the hell is this coming up yet again? When adults do adult things TOGETHER, you can't just blame one. Be mature and blame all involved. If you can't do that, get over it and move on.
    I also agreed w/ "Too narrow" because I understand you have the right to your opinion but just because it's your opinion doesn't make it right. They gave the most compelling argument on this page HANDS DOWN.

  • Alina

    I agree w/ "Too Narrow..." There's a helluva lot more to be disturbed about in this video than race.
    My younger female cousins (ages 11-16) who, are unfortunately not supervised enough, will not be thinking of the historical/racial implications of this video. They'll see a popular starlet wrapping her ass around another pop star and think that's what they need to do to get/keep a man and that what's seen in the video is acceptable.
    While the Eric Benet video recently highlighted on this site wasn't trashy (but explicit, still), I'd say the same thing about that one, too -- I wouldn't want them watching it either.
    White/black/Latino -- the issue of race (in this instance) is secondary in the face of the hypersexualization in our culture. This is trashy strip club shit and damn if I don't want my cousins thinking this is how they should allow a man to treat them.
    Call me a prude but I work at a clinic where, day after day, I see increasingly younger girls (of all races) coming in listening to/watching this kind of shit on their iPods then crying to me when they've found out they have multiple STDs. From that perspective, race is secondary. I see your (the author's) point, and it's a valid one, I just don't think it's the most troubling thing about this video.

  • http://qhblend.blogspot.com QH

    I don't agree with saying that people in entertainment don't beleive in their art. Some people relish making frivolous art with quality, some can be frivolous with quality.
    In fact, art is a major factor here, because this is all based on what appeals to us music video and music fans. And at the end of the day, image is imagination, the truth is rarely revealed. It is perception.
    I just don't get why we feel we need to pair ourselves with this guy? I said the same thing when he attached himself to Janet. Personally, I found the initial aim of this Ciara project to be mildy intriguing, but if it is going being composed of this type of malarkey, I don't know.-QH

  • Jennifer

    This is why I fux with this site. Well written story Ro.
    Glad some people are tuned into what's REALLY going on.

  • Kellz

    Also what the hell is black music? I'm getting so sick and f-ing tired of comments like that! There are many genres black ppl are talented in (look @ the dude from Hootie and the Blowfish or the lead singer of Bloc Party) and I think it's really ignorant of you or anyone else to pigeon-hole ppl into just one area.
    Also, I like how it was mentioned JT capitalizes on blacks w/o mentioning how Mariah does THE EXACT SAME THING and nobody calls her out on her ish. Her father was ITALIAN. Southern italian to be exact; not black. Everyone has slave and african immigrants in their ancestry and that includes more for ppl of the southern part of Italy vs. an avg. white american. Why the hell do you think they have complexion issues between the north and south there as well? If you're gonna talk trash about one person, you need to do it for everyone involved. It really pisses me off how there's so much wrong in the R&B community but no one says anything until someone they don't like or have a beef w/ is involved. Such hypocrisy.

  • http://www.myspace.com/funkisitsownreward dar

    Although this is primarily about Justin Timberlake and the pattern of behavior he has launched in the wake of his solo career, I believe this is more so about black women. I don't want to carelessly put this into a "she asked for it" type of context, but in these cases, it is true. These hypersexualized themes in music and music videos lend themselves to this type of outcome, and then we sit and blame people like Justin Timberlake for their participation. JT is just like any given man or woman: a sexual (and generally opportunistic) being. If Ciara wants to play that role and have virtually every part of her body all up in Justin's face, we can't honestly blame him without blaming her. Justin was probably thinking, "I get to spend the day with a fine black chick throwing it at me, AND I get paid???" It's a no-brainer, folks. These are wholly symbiotic relationships.
    This couldn't have happened without Ciara. Hell, it was probably her idea. After all, this really isn't the first time she's played the sex kitten role (contrary to what I previously thought). This is the same chick who made the top of a car a sexual object in the "Oh" video. She's the one always turning her damn body into a pretzel and doing all of these sexual things with her frame in her performances, all underneath the guise of exerting control. Same with other female singers and video vixens. No one's forcing you to put this type of slant on your artistry. No one held a gun to Janet's head and said "Let Justin rip off part of your bustier . . ." Even had the tear revealed a second layer of fabric, we should be looking at the bigger, problematic picture. Sadly, these women are willing to do these things because they know people want to see it. Or they think so. In some cases, they love it! As much as I love Janet, she seems to get off on being as sexual as possible with her art, and would likely admit such.
    This is not sexual molestation or some other situation in which there is someone being forced to do things against their will. This is willful and consensual behavior. We sometimes want to liken this kind of situation to JT clubbing black women over the head and taking them for his pleasure, when in reality, it's nothing of that sort. As much as we want to frown up and turn Ciara and others into victims, we have to admit that in these situations it is more like having both parties fulfilling the role of the aggressor. Additionally, If we continue to vilify Justin Timberlake, we also have to hold accountable Snoop Dogg, R. Kelly, Ludacris, Nelly and all of these other black men who have done the same things to our so-called queens. We're allowing these Black men (who we feel should know better) do Lord-knows-what while we're busy throwing JT under the bus.
    I feel you, Ro, I swear I do. But this pattern of behavior from Justin is something the aforementioned artists (as well as us) have created. For whatever reason, we keep giving him a pass. Especially in the wake of the Janet Jackson fiasco, collectively we have welcomed him back into the family much in the way people did with R. Kelly and perhaps to a lesser extent, Chris Brown. However I think your post is the first step in the right direction to letting ALL of these artists know that they're on notice. We have to address everyone, as well as the entirety of this issue: that we are tired of our people being reduced (or reducing themselves) to sexual objects for the sake of "art." It is no different with violence, rampant plagiarism and lack of creativity, and all the other issues we have with mainstream music. If we are as heated about this as we say we are, we have to take it to the next level and speak out at EVERY OPPORTUNITY. Given the nature and state of modern, mainstream black music, there are plenty of chances to protest.

  • http://www.myspace.com/funkisitsownreward dar

    yikes! it never looks that long when i'm typing it. xO)

  • tannie lee

    well said "dar".....

  • http://adventuresofanaudiodiva.blogspot.com/ Audio Diva

    Well put Dar. I agree with a majority of what you said.
    My 2 cents: Like ill Mami said, Justin has had a "pass" for the longest time....BUT he's been abusing his "pass".
    I admit. I used to be an avid *NSYNC/Justin "Justified" fan and in all honesty, he's changed since those days, BIG time. Not only has his attitude changed, but his music and the way he presents it has. Like Ro, suggested from the example of the "Like I Love You" vid, he's gone from being "soft" to being "hard", simply because he probably felt he wasn't getting a wider fanbase, so what does a pop/R&B star do when they want a larger fanbase? They get invovled with rappers and their producers...not to say that rap music is the end all culprit of this situation, but that it just happens to pop stars who want to seem more "edgier" and from Justin's viewpoint, so we "know that he's down". It happens to alot of pop stars...and since he was in a "squeaky clean boy band" he's been trying to erase that image ever since. Though we, as listeners, have sorta forgotten and moved on, he hasn't.
    Frankly, what blares out most to me about the video is that Justin AND Ciara (it takes two to tango) are just out for the money...not for the art. If they were, we wouldn't be having this discussion. We have seen that Ciara's last couple of singles haven't been doing so well on the charts...so what does she do? She gets invovled with Justin Timberlake, because as we've seen with his collabos with rappers TI and 50 Cent, those songs made some money and were hits. And what does Ciara need right now? A hit. We must understand that Justin and Ciara are ENTERTAINERS, not artists. There is a difference between the terms. Because if they were artists (or at least original entertainers), they wouldn't be doing a video or even singing a song of this forte.
    Whew...sorry for the essay...

  • Brave

    We've alway's allowed our women to be treated as less than who they really are. But, because a white boy does it, now it is an issue? BS. Every since blues was born our women have been treated like and called whores by us first, them second. I'll tell you this, if a white boy or anybody showed my mother, grandmother, female cousins any disrespect, it would be an issue.
    As black people, we point fingers without looking at where it came from. He is allowed to do this because most of these black celebrities are tomming, and feel like being accepted by white folks still means something. So, get the hot white boy to to treat our women like shit, crossover hit. It is a fad that has never been dealt with, because the issue lies within our own psychy.
    We have no problem glorifying blues, but a problem with hip hop when this happens? White people have been allowed by us as a whole to objectify our women for years and no one really say's anything. Imagin, for a second, if Jamie Foxx was feeling up Julia Roberts in the blame it video? or if Ne-yo ripped of Kristen Clarkson's shirt at the superbowl? White folks wouldn't put up with it, but these uncle tom celebrities love this. More exeptance. Get the Token cool white boy. I don't understand his appeal anyway, his music isn't even good. It's fake R&B.

  • sodisgustedwithu

    you guys have to take things to the extreme and take it out of context. C'mon why don't you talk about those videos that this young rappers have where they use women as their "ho's" and "bitches". Give me a break! JT didn't do anything wrong in this video so stop picking on him. Please these are all grown folks who for the most part take direction from the director of the shoot or video. Making a big deal out of NOTHING!!! Why don't we put much emphasis on our education and our economy...Let's start there and leave the ARTIST to do their WORK! It's not a BLACK AND WHITE THING either...Tired of hearing the same nonesense over and over again. Let IT GO!

  • Royalxanadu

    Firstly, I'm a bit familiar with the sub/dom fetish(don't ask) and the sub(JT) can only act/react if and when his dom(ciara) allows him to. As far as I can see that is the theme they were going for.
    As for the rest, tiffany, nOvaMatic, and cecily said what I wanted to say.

  • Faith

    WTF? Why does HE get a pass? Why do the black men who do it get a pass? Why do the black women who ALLOW themselves to be exploited get a pass? We need to clean up our own sh*t first before worrying about Justin's pathetic ass.

  • Lo

    I've read a lot of the comments and overall I agree. With all the rap videos taking up space on BET why is it now that you say that JT is wrong for objectifying black women? If you want to call him out, also call out the number of black male artists who feel as though the only thing a black woman can provide is her body. Be fair.

  • http://www.bsaidso.wordpress.com kayode Kendall

    In the grand scheme of things, this whole idea of Timberlake "getting a pass" as if he's getting away with murder or something is just kind of ridiculous. any major celebrity be them a singer or actor, gets away with a variety of things (sometimes INCLUDING murder!). They've broken laws from misdemeanors to full on felonies with nothing more than a slap on the wrist compared to what regular folk would get for similar crimes. And if OJ taught us anything back in '95, you can be a black retired athlete and get away with killing two pretty white folks if you've got enough money. As little as ten years prior, he'd have gotten the book thrown at him. R. Kelly beat the rap on a crime that was VIDEOTAPED!!! But oh lord, we gotta punish Timberlake for exposing a titty and not fully owning up to it!
    And as to the implication that Janet Jackson's career was tarnished, "possibly" beyond repair, give me a break! Even leading up to "Nipplegate" as it were, Janet's best years were arguably behind her. And her albums since the wardrobe malfuction don't even touch the greatness of her earlier works. Albums like Janet and The Velvet Rope, where she showed a lot of emotional growth and maturity, while still have a fun and sexy side to her music. To say nothing of the fact that she could have make a serious effort to return to that maturity with her latest albums, but continues to sell herself from a purely sexual perspective. And you can argue that that's only because of the nature of "the beast" that is the music industry, but if she really cared about creating lasting memorable pop music on her own terms, she could have found a way After twenty years, you'd think she, of all people would have that kind of clout. So trying to argue that Timberlake caused her career irrevocable damage, that's just stupid. Lesser artists have rebounded from far worse embarrassments.

  • nOvaMatic

    To anyone that is new to this website or is acting new, please familiarize yourself with your surroundings. SoulBounce consistently holds Black artists (chiefly rap artists) accountable for their antics. The "why doesn't anyone call out black males" angle isn't going to wash today.
    With that aside, some of us tend to believe that the cross pollanization of musical styles and appreciation from race-to-race negates how certain images/approaches manifest themselves in real life, day-to-day society. While I don't take offense to the presentation in the same manner as the author of this post, I am also not a Black woman. The author of this post is a woman of color, and whether we agree with her or not, this position needs to be explored since it may uncover some truths we are unwilling to confront. Self-awareness is a mofo.
    So no, this particular incident may not be "a big deal" and it may "just be a video" and there may be "bigger issues to worry about", but Black female artists need to be more conscientious about who they bed with professionally. Justin Timberlake isn't The Answer any more than he's The Problem.

  • Brave

    I understand Soulbounce holds RAPPERS accountable, everyone does, but when was the last time any news or blog outlet called out Muddy Waters for Hoochie Coocjie Man or any blues artists for that matter. Who has ever called out Marvin Gaye or B.B King. I love the artists I named, but listen to some of the lyrics, they tell women straight out that they're good for nothing but sex, and our women eat it up.
    "Shake your money maker, bring it home to daddy" remember those lyrics. We as a community of black men rarely tell our women how beautiful they are when sex IS NOT involved. I tell black women I see all the time how beautiful they are, and some , I notice, don't think they deserved to be told that. And, some get mad, I even had an older lady cry after I told her. You believe that, she had told me she was married 20 years and when I told her how beautiful she was she cried because NO ONE ever told her that.
    We condition our black women to believe they have nothing to offer outside of physical beauty and sex appeal, so when they hear beauty or your appreciated they react with emotions because this isn't normal. I started doing this when I was about 14 because of Malcolm X's auto biography, and I still can't get past the feelings I see.
    And, as I said the racial boundries are only crossed on our side. White folks wouldn't tolerate Will Smith man handling Reese Witherspoon, hell they didn't even let Denzel kiss Julia Roberts in The Pelican Brief.
    My response to the swet lady who wrote the post is not meant to negate her feelings, because they are more than justified and valid. I just feel that not enough emphasis is placed on our community outside of hip hop.
    Whore and Bitch and words that our community threw around for years when talking about our women. And, because a lot of these black entertainers in an effort to feel ACCEPTED by there white counterparts (who want themselves to be accepted to be perceived cool by other white folks, ain't that a trip) allow this mysogony to come from them.
    To the topic, I do feel it is bad enough for a black man to mis treat a black women, but imagine if a white boy called a black woman a black bitch. Al Sharpton would march, and Jay-Z would do a record with him. I remember knocking out this white boys teeth for that exact same thing, but thats another story.
    I also don't know if Justin is objectifying black women as much as he doesn't mind letting one take the heat for his screw ups. Because, if Janet Jackson was some hot white young thang, Justin would've caught just as much heat.

  • MadBrooke

    Real M'fn talk!!!

  • http://twitter.com/douglaspaul douglaspaul

    Simple. It's the same reason why Hispanics, Indians, West Indians, Koreans and etc think it's for them to drop n-bombs like it's sweet. Once you license something long enough everyone will think they can do it too. This whole question of "Why is he getting a pass" is just small side issue to the bigger issue.
    There have always been a few white artist who overstepped cause they "paid their dues" on black radio, tv shows, movies and feel like they amassed enuff respect, protection, fans and, I hate using this word, cred that they can take that next step. What's the next step? Almost be able to do as other black artists do. Get as close to the edge as possible. Today it's chains, collars and etc. 5 years ago it was having a black woman in a video with spandex and talking about her butt. 10 years ago it something else. 15 years ago it was something else. And it goes on and on and on.
    So why is he getting a pass? Because to so many people no basically consider him a black artist and more importantly on some level he considers himself on too.

  • nOvaMatic

    @Brave: I can't speak for other outlets, but the author of this post has raised similar concerns:
    http://www.soulbounce.com/soul/2008/09/five_reasons_why_freedom_is_impossible_today
    Not to mention the other countless posts that were written (by various SB editors) about how females have been marginalized in Hip Hop as well the recent post on Intimate Partner Violence.
    All is equal measure and fair is fair, you dig?
    I think the response to this post has more to do with the current visibility of the artists highlighted here. At any rate, pursuing the "they do it too" angle can sometimes serve as a distraction. This isn't to say your points are not valid. You are 100% correct and your comments are well-received here. Thank you for adding even more valuable nuance to this discussion.

  • Quinntana Slaughter

    Until we as Americans who are tired of this type of crap stand up and start really saying something, nothing will ever be done. Its done in rap videos, R&B, and movies and it won't change because of the type of society that we live in. Ciara is just looking for the next hit so that she can keep her record contract and continue to live the lifestyle that she has grown accustomed too. A lot of our female artist sell Ass for record sells and endorsements. Stop supporting them and show them that we will hold them accountable for not being responsible with the images that they put out. The list is so long.
    now JT, he is only doing what he is told is cool by those around him. Timbaland and others, please this boy seems dumb as rocks.
    Start supporting artists who will not objectify themselves and sell their souls for the almighty dolla, its enough of them out there.

  • EDP

    "Yes, Ciara is grown and autonomous. So is Janet. But that just makes his ability to exploit their collaborations to the point that they are subjegated to his dominance, wittingly or not, more protestable. "
    That statement makes absolutely no sense. Sure, I could do without the tired sexsexsex tactic of this video, and there is something to be said about the objectification of women in videos. But how is this Justin Timberlake's responsibility? It's Ciara's video. Didn't she approve the concept? Didn't her people ask him to be on the track? Didn't she give it her stamp of approval? And while it was kinda cold of him to distance himself from Janet following Nipplegate, well, that's the harsh reality of the entertainment industry. Everybody's looking out for their own career. And please don't trivialize the Middle Passage and the exploitation of our ancestors by tying it to the choices of pop stars.

  • http://planetill.wordpress.com odeisel

    Had the superbowl been Usher and Madonna, I don't think thatUsher would have been allowed to remove himself for the sitation so easily.
    That being said, you have to ask yourself when will people take responsibility for putting themselve sout ther eto be objectified. I'm sure they were not ignorant of the positions and the perspectives of peope viewing those positions thye ut themselves in.
    It's not powerful to be objectified. You are not controlling your "opressor". You are allowing yourself to be commodified. Once you are a commodity you are at the mercy of the market that values that commodity.

  • Ja’nee

    The difference between the Ciara video and Janet's nipple gate is Ciara chose to be in this role. If you watch the video she is doing the initiating while he is standing there uninterested.
    Justin deserved part of the blame for the Janet scandal but Ciara deserves all of the blame in this instance.

  • Miguel

    I'm not a fan of Justin Timberlake nor does the video bother me as much as some simply because this is just both individuals trying to make money how they know how. I'm not going to get upset with him simply because this was Ciara's video and if she felt that there was any problem with this, in my opinion, then she could have changed or not done the video or act. In my mind they are just doing what sells(unfortunately). I really don't watch videos to much anymore because I'm tired of seeing the same bs in almost every video on television. People are so
    I honestly don't believe that Justin is really smart enough to notice the racist/sexism portrayed in videos, he seems nice but he doesn't seem that bright, maybe that just me though. The reason why I feel gets a pass is because its some rampant and commonplace therefore very few people notice regardless of color. Again, I'm not big video watcher but when I actually watched the video, I didn't see any racism in the video because I've seen Snoop Dogg do the same exact thing in a video and on the red carpet.
    i understand having an issue with the way Ciara seems to be portrayed in the video(though Ciara and Justin say that she was in control) but there seems to be an issue with Justin only because he's white and I believe that is asinine because black rappers and singers have been doing the same for years. Mind you I'm not saying that whats done is right but right now that is the industry and the state of music, in my opinion.

  • Harlem Chic

    I see the argument on both sides. My capitalist side wants to congratulate Ciara for a job well done, making that paper and living her life using her God given talent and my Malcolm X side feels like JT does get away with *cough* murder *cough* the old school appropriation of Black music way. *And please white folks...don't act like you're not guilty of this. History shows that you prefer a close to Black sound if its wrapped in a white face. i.e Elvis, Benny Goodman, M&M, Madonna, Amy Winehouse * These white artists have got to know that if they were black they wouldn't even be on the pedestal they're on. And we all know that JT can't sing.
    My biggest concern is for the kiddies who adore Ciara and her goodies. I like the song but the video did make me blush in an uncomfortable kind of way. But I don't believe in getting in people's way of how they make money. If Tina Turner can be sexy then so can Ciara.

  • stoneyisland

    I know this will upset alot of people, mostly sista's. I never could really unerstand why it hurt sista's to see brothers with white women. I do now. Anytime I see a sista with a white dude it bothers me greatly. Why? to be honest I thinks it has been programmed into my head from all the things my grand parents use to tell me about the struggle they had growing up. Some of it is probably from watching too much TV as a child. But when I see a black women of her own free will dating a white man, I think of all the black women who were basically sex slaves for whitemen back in slavery. I know that might sound crazy but any sista who dated a white dude of her own free will is kicking the dirt off the graves of millions of black women who had no choice in their decisions to sleep with the massa. What bothers me most is I have a lot of white male friends, most of them all have said at one time or another that they have dated a black woman at least once. I know, I know sistas are gonna say brothers cant have their cake and eat it too but as my grandfather told me back in his day if a black man LOOKED at a white women for too long it could cost him his life. I consider myself a progressive, black man, I truly believe that life is short and if you can find someone to make you happy then F the world and live your life, I dont consider myself a racist, all men are created equal . But I still dont like to see a beautiful sista on the arm of a white dude. There I said it. Ciara is probably just trying to reach a higher level of fans and make her paper just remember babygirl all money aint good money.........

  • http://igotaphyaflyjones.wordpress.com phyaflyjones

    I can see this point from both sides. however, i think in this case it more about the ills of a patriarchal society then it is about race. It's less about a black wouman and more about the treatment of women in general.
    Yes, it is a problem that when black women are with "others": They are deemed to be more exotic and sexual. Therefore, more able and willing to be objectified. But, when we do it to our own women it sets the stage. " They treat their women that way, I guess we can, too" On all fronts we have to do better.
    All and all this is a great article and definitley food for thought.
    Thank you.

  • dVine

    I think the title of the article should be "Why do Black women objectify themselves, and then get mad when people only look at them as sex objects." Has nothing to do with Justin Timberlake. If you take him out of the video all together, is she still being objectified? Yes. Becuase she's trying to.

  • http://www.extramildsauce.com Drack Muse

    First let me say that I love SoulBounce immensely. There's always a good find here and this entry is a great topic for discussion (and I'll keep mine brief).
    I am REALLY getting tired of the double standard going on in our community. The whole debate of sistas hating to see black men with white women (or even other races) and vice versa for black men, is simply getting boring at this point. First of all, the case of The People vs. JT (and Ciara) is not a case at all. I mean, how dare we question the way JT objectifies black women in this video when OUR OWN black men treat our sisters even worse. Don’t believe me? Just pause from reading this, go turn on your radio or TV to your local station where hip hop and R&B lives and listen.
    I'll wait...
    So, are we saying that black men get a pass to objectify our women and JT doesn’t? Or, are we seeing similar acts from our people as authentic black love? We can connect the dots from Ciara's song to our history in slavery all we want. However, the reason why JT performed these acts in this video is because there is no standard set in our community. Even the gay community has been able to change our entertainer’s lyrics and behavior - and we can't? Just look around... Even Rick Ross came out this week and apologized to the gay community (and is even committed to record with an openly gay rapper) and promised not to disrespect them again (and I believe him).When is the apology going to go out to the sistas? Excuse me..LOL! That will never happen in my lifetime. I’m sorry for not having faith in us for that but the truth is that we are enslaved to each other and a lower standard of self-worth. Peace!

  • http://www.extramildsauce.com Muse

    ...and where were y'all when Snoop Dogg was pulling his "bitches"... excuse me... BEAUTIFUL BLACK QUEENS... on a leash at the MTV Awards?
    [This website wasn't active when that Snoop incident happened, but once again when we were holding black male artists accountable we didn't get nearly as much response or criticism. -nOva]

  • Brave

    There was no race vard pulled in this article, and I find it funny everytime I hear a black person say something about this so-called race card. Does this trump give some kind of imidiate victory in game of race relations when someone black just wants to get ahead. There is no race card, and if you keep letting white people make you believe that there is one then, excuse me, but you're a damn fool. They(white people) invented this race card, and try to pretend that when a black person finds something offensive then it is over blown. Read J.A Rogers volumes of Sex and Race. These issues, as long as there dismissed will never be dealt with, and a race problem will always exist because of that.
    This sister wrote an article stating why she is offended and instead of asking why, or politely voicing your opinion, you become dismissive because YOU can't understand. This is where the biggest problem lay's, because when you dismiss feeling you never deal with the problem.
    Also, Snoop pulls black women, with an occasional white woman, on chains. But, you'll never see that white woman on t.v, I haven't. People see the black woman, and assumptions about the black woman arise. And, alpha.phemale in all of your what-ifs, I noticed you didn't ask what if Soulja Boy was pulling Hannah Montana around like a slave. You know why, because white folks wouldn't stand for it. If the thought to pull one of these white angels in a video even pop'd in his mind he'd go missing.
    As all black people who grew up in rough areas know, when white people come around they will push limits to see how far they can go when dealing with black people, e.g, we allow this.
    The reason why race is a problem is because most white people like to ignore a black person when they say there is a problem, because the black people they know say nothing. There is an article on this site, where Jay-Z shows just how stupid he really is, that talks about this. Not enough black people around the way say anything, except to each other. There is an open dialog, for me, with the white people I see at schol or at work, as long as they don't use the N word. They need to know that problems do exist, and the history that this country tries to hide when it comes to race. In the 60's the U.S tried to convince the world that there was no race problem, just afew upset Negroes; they stil do the same today. Not long ago a white cop got away with shooting a black grandmother in the back of the head?? No one questions this, there isn't even any talk on the news, and I only saw a couple articles talk about it online, none major??? Race card my ass.
    Now music videos wouldn't be an issue if the topics varied, like we as a people do, but the don't. THe undertone of sex and over used thug appeal, is what peole are shown, and think that there is nothing more to our people then that. But, god-forbid someone say anything, that damn trump card may be played, and the game is over,lol.

  • Brave

    To nOva, thanks for the link to that article, but what i'm implying is not that our men of today(namely hip Hop) are not being held accountable, but we aren't looking at the root (the men of yesterday, blues). See. You we looking at the leaves ( justin, hip hop), the old blues musicians are the root, lol. But, I do see the question being raised and that is important, but the history of it needs to be dealt with.
    Black women give us a pass, because most of them don't see any better from us, but that doesn't make it right. But on the white side, they simply will do it because we will allow it. Having a white woman on your arm meant something of status to black men at one point, and in ways still holds true today. All these issues are internal issues that are not talked about. Why is being accepted by white people important? I don't know if anyone will agree with me, some I have said this to do, and some don't, but I think in all the rush to intergrate, our people have done nothing but find a way to seperate from each other.

  • Shelley_D

    I read the article, then looked for the video on youtube. I agree with everything he said about JT objectifying black women yaddi yadda. BUT this is Ciara's video, she is the one who wanted to collaborate with him and moer than likely it was her vision for this video and how she wanted to portray herself. I have a hard time respecting young black ... Read Morefemale artists who can sing and dance but still insist on wearing little or no clothing and gyrating and waving the bottoms at the camera like there is no tomorrow. Ciara is one, Beyonce is another. If we go out and dance like that and dress like that why wouldn't men treat us like sex objects, black or white... I'm just saying...

  • thepurplestuff

    i haven't gotten a chance to read through all of the comments yet, but for real, why aren't we marching? why aren't we organizing a letter writing campaign to record execs? why aren't we trying to get 106th & park or some other such show to highlight this in a way that shows us what to do with the collective anger of how Black women are represented in music and media? i'm serious, y'all. i feel ill Mami and hoping that we aren't too tired to fight. but this stuff (and yes, it is much bigger than the video as many of you have said) is real and it's being handed down to young, Black women and men every. single. day.
    i love this site. it's my daily dose of musical sanity and progressive thinking. but i want more than a haven. i'm ready to move because the consequences of standing still are too great now. how can we harness all this brilliance and fire that i see and read on this blog on the regular into action?

  • http://www.extramildsauce.com Muse

    What's up NOva?
    For clarity, when I said "where were y'all" I was referring to everyone else who commented and specifically those singling out JT as the problem. Not SoulBounce. For the record, I am not a fan of JT but I recoginize the double standard taking place with this issue and find it unacceptable.

  • alpha.phemale

    @brave: I see and understand your point .. very nice .. and about me saying what if soulja boy did that to ms. montana .. I did say what if the roles were reversed .. although my comment was deleted,I still stand by we read to deep into things when it is not needed.

  • 0731

    Its interesting seeing everyone mention Hip-Hop in a discussion that really doesn't have anything to do with it. To me, injecting black men and Hip-Hop into this debate is similar to when Don Imus did it a year back. We can look at things holistically, or we could focus on the actual topic at hand.
    I am glad SB brought up this topic. I have noticed that there has been a trend with Timberlake recently where he collaborates almost exclusively with Black women. However, I think there are ulterior motives on both ends. For Timberlake, he is trying to regain his "ghetto pass". Although the last album proved he doesn't really need it to sell well, I think he views these collaborations as opportunities to re-establish his fan base within the black community. For Beyonce, Rihanna, and Ciara (and T.I for that matter), collaborating with white "pop royalty" only increases the visibility of their projects to the mainstream media. What's unfortunate here is that POPULAR black artist still feel the need to work with a popular white artists to increase their appeal. As for the video, although I think the video unintentionally conjures racist imagery (which is more due to the creative license of Diane Martel, Ciara, and her team), I think it is more than a coincidence that Justin has managed to work with three of the most popular black women in music right now in just the last few months. Its without a doubt exploitation, just not in the way this article suggests.

  • Brave

    alpha.phemale, I agree that sometimes issues are probed that don't need it. But, this isn't one of those times. My Souja/Montana comment say's it all. If the roles were reversed? they wouldn't be, and haven't been and will probably never be reversed. There are no instances in pop culture where this has happen. The last black man/white woman issue was Orenthal Simpson, and see how it turned out for him. They got that man exactly 13 years( 13th amendment) to the day. No black man would be able to leave a white woman taking the bag (Justin/Janet), or pulling her around like a slave in a video. Imagin for a moment K-ci from Jodeci pulling around Jessica Simpson in a song he wrote and produced, you can't picture it because that picture can't be taken.
    They already blaming the President for our countries defecit.
    Now, off to class for my government paid education, that aint taught me nothing. Ya;ll be easy

  • Jenny

    Yes there is a problem with the industry. I see no reason why to single out Justin. I know he is popular and white. You get more of a response that way. This is an industry problem with how women are treated. If using Justin helps bring this issue more attention then fine. Don't use him as the only reason for this problem.

  • SistaSouljah

    It's not just Justin. Look at how many black rappers and singers objectify women in their videos! The problem as I see it is w/ these women not demanding more and lowering their standards for a pay check. The industry isn't going to change if women keep allowing this. Justin could've never treated Ciara like a whore in her video if she hadn't allowed it. She didn't seem to have any problem being pulled on a chain and bending over for him. So, I don't blame JT. I blame the women who allow themselves to be exploited this way.

  • NY,NY

    I don't feel like the issue you've raised is solely Justin Timberlake's fault...at all.
    He didn't write the treatment for that video or any of the videos that he's in so how are the label execs and creative minds behind them not held accountable? We live in a society where sex sells so in the entertainment industry women are exploited as sex symbols no matter their race or the race of the man participating in the exploitation. To put all of the blame on Justin Timberlake is ridiculous.
    Ciara is "sexed up" and gyrating in almost all of her videos- in "oh" with Ludacris she was basically humping a car with Ludacris paying her NO attention. But that was OK because Ludacris is a Black man?
    I appreciate the point you are trying to make but to put the blame on one person, the artist no less, isn't logical. Your real issue should be with the higher ups who make these decisions and don’t' care about the moral or social implications of the videos. Their only concerns are how many views it gets on BET, the number of radio spins it receives, and the record sales. Your beef is with them.

  • kidadank

    I guess a black woman can't express their sexuality with it being considered some kind of objectification. I'm not interested in seeing this time of video ALL the time, but it's one kind of video. Ciara's been doing this since the beginning of her career. Let's face it, her voice is not the reason why she has a career. All of her videos follow the same MO. She's up there with Britney Spears in that aspect. I'm not sure why this is a JT thing and he's objectifying Black women. As for her being treated like a prositute in the video? I didn't see JT handin' her any money. People express their sexuality in different ways. It's not always the vanilla type of thing. We look at Ciara being objectified, but how did we view Madonna in her Human Nature music video?

  • Luce

    You talk about JT "miming Black music and culture," but until we get away from this insular view of racial ownership of culture (and a type of music) we will never be an integrated society. By making him out to be an imposter because he borrows from hip-hop and collaborates with black women (although his last popular single was with Madonna), aren't you singling him out soley for the color of his skin and not the content of his musical product? That seems like precisely the kind of thing we are trying to get away from as a country.

  • tandee

    he gets a pass because one ... our men is happy to let ''massa'' do whatever he wants for a shiny penny and two our music belongs more to him than it does us. JT is a producers creation ... don't get me wrong he has some skills ... brought and paid for by the many people that have invested in his career starting when he was in the group ... top BLACK producers keep him on the charts. But those same producers could not bring a black artist to the label doing the same music but they could sell these soNGS to JT.

  • Nonplussed

    While I understand the thesis she creates, I do not agree with Ro's conclusions in this instance. Janet and Ciara are clearly neither submissive nor victims and the sexuality they express in their own work is their own creation whether we approve or not. That said, this sort of post is precisely why I return to Soulbounce on a daily basis.

  • http://www.freedomreeves.com Freedom Reeves

    If R.Kelly has taught us anything, is that an entertainer can get away with anything short of a dead girl or a live boy if they keep producing good music. It's sad, but it's business. That's why JT gets a "pass."
    Personally, I wasn't as triggered by the imagery in the video as the
    author was, but that doesn't mean that the connotations aren't there, and the potential cultural impact can't be overstated.Still, I don't think it's good to treat Black women like helpless slave mistresses that don't have any control of their image at the hands of the white "massa." This post can easily be about why Ciara and Janet agreed to performing these acts with JT in the first place. What's in it for them?

  • http://tigger500.typepad.com Tyler

    He gets a pass because black people in the industry love him and give him credibility. If Timbaland and dem like him, he can't be racist or acting in a racist fashion. So many of us use that stupid logic, forgetting that we are sometimes our own worst enemy.
    I applaud this piece. Well done.

  • Everywhere

    1. First of all, to all the white people who are on here pretending to be black just because you think it makes you point legit: STOP the bull; you're not black.
    2. Second, WHO CARES if ~~SOME~~ black rappers objectify black women too. That doesn't make it right for Justin to do it as well. They're wrong for doing it just like JT is, and they too have been called out MANY a times for their objectification of black women, so STOP copping out and pointing at rappers, and stop acting like JT is the only one who been called. JT is not so special that people decide that they want to single him out and pick on him. They only thing with JT is that he is a white man and that lately he has made efforts to work the other artists who not so coincidentally happen to be black women, and have objectified them all in the process. That shows intent and comes off racist (one example esp. in Ciara's video when he's holding on a CHAIN around Ciara's neck) and sexist on his part. And I, like others, agree that Ciara should also be criticized for slutting herself out and agreeing to be objectified. Ineed, it takes two to tango, and these was a consentual action between JT and Ciara. I've already criticized Ciara for being a slut in this video, but the topic here is about JT's objecification of black women, so that is what I'm talking about.
    3. @ Nonplussed: She never said Janet or Ciara were victimized or made to be submissive. That's not the point.
    4. @ tandee: "Massa" my ass. JT is not "massa," he is a damn clown. And quit this "our" shit you keep talking about. You're not black, so you're not included in anything "our" in respect to black people. Our music, black music, does NOT belong more to him than it does to us. That why it's black music, because it's made by BLACK people. JT falls under "wannabes trying to do black music just to be popular." As you said, black producers, who make and produce nearly ALL of today's music hits for all pop, RnB, and rap artists, keep Justin relevant. If it wasn't for those black producers Justin would be long gone somewhere. Black producers keep him up, without them he is nothing, and they could do the same with any other man, including a black man. What fits better than black men/women doing black music? Not some wannabe.
    5. @ Luce: But what it sounds like you want to do is ignore and deny that music by black is different than music by whites. You can't deny that there is a difference. There IS "black music" (though it comes in many different genres, and there IS "white music" (though, like black music, it also comes in many different genres. Black music and white music is just as real and distinct as boy clothes and girl clothes.
    6. @ NY,NY: YEAH THE FUCK RIGHT. There is a HUGE difference between Ludacris+Ciara in the "Oh" and Justin+Ciara in "Love Sex Magic," and you are knowingly completely ignoring it. Ludacris in the "Oh" video was just a short cameo appearance, and during it he is not paying any attention to Ciara, he wasn't touching her or being sexual in any way towards her, he wasn't even close to her. Justin on the other hand is doing things like holding a chain around her kneck, pulling her panties, slapping her ass etc etc. and letting her slut herself out to him etc, etc. Dont even act like the two vids are the same regaring how the man acts towards the women, because they are not.
    7. @ 0731: You're very wrong on just one little thing. Beyonce, Rihanna, and T.I are some of the most popular artists right now. Beyonce is like the reigning queen right now, Rihanna is the latest red hot new thing that everyone loves, and TI very popular now and has had a couple big hits lately (Whatever You Like, Live Your Life) and has a documentary out (Road to Redemption), so they do not need Justin at all to help with their exposure, visibility, or appeal; they'e all hot stuff at the moment, and were so even before Justin started leeching off their success. Justin needs THEM to help keep his name out there, and THAT is why he is collaborating with every damn body (Rehab with Rihanna, Dead and Gone with TI, Until the End of Time and SNL with Beyonce; notice he keeps collabing with some of the already biggest artists right now) and he doesn't have any solo songs out.
    8. @ Brave: Please. A black man having a white women on his arm doesn't mean anything of "status" to a black man. Never has and never will. White women are not trophies, aren't viewed as such, and don't have worthy any greater than women of any other race.
    9. @ Drack Muse: You're not black. Stop with the "we" "us" and "our community." You can state your opinion about the black community without having to fake like you're black. And as I said earlier, just because some black rapper objectify black women doesn't make it okay for Justin to do it to. Justin is white, therefor the context is not the same, and it changes the situation completely.
    10. @ sodisgustedwithu: Black and white IS part of this issue. If you're tired of hearing the "same old nonsense" then blame the clowns who cross these racial boundaries time and time again. not the ones who decide to call them out on it.
    11. @ Kellz: What is black music? UM, I DONT KNOW, MAYBE HIP HOP, RAP, RNB, CONTEMPORARY RNB, BLUES, SOUL. Get it together honey. All of that is black music doofus. And Mariah Carey is BLACK, so don't EVEN go there. It doesn't matter if her father was white, black, purple, or whatever; she is still a black women. She does NOT capitalize of off black music. She's a black women who makes black music. All Italians do NOT have black in their ancestry, and even if they did, it doesn't matter, and it doesn't change the issue here. There is no hypocrazy, you're just a doofus.

  • Jen

    Justin wrote the song and has been shopping it around to Beyonce and others who apparently didn't want it. Ciara, on the other hand is in desperate and dire need of a hit and he knows that. He had her bending over and whatnot because he could. She's so happy to get him to work with her, she wouldn't dare object.
    Everyone said the video with him and Rihanna was "boring" but I am glad RiRi didn't let him paw her. He doesn't have to look at Ciara in the eye, like he did Rihanna, because Ciara he knows Ciara doesn't require all that.
    Rihanna, Beyonce, they wear skimpy stuff and are sexy, but they understand that you have to leave something to the imagination in order to be sexy. Ciara is going all out and is playing herself. Her Vibe cover is really SAD.

  • http://www.blessedaretheperverse.blogspot.com Vic

    I'm going to skip the exploitation bit and the ghetto pass thing, and just address all those people who say Ciara's acting like a ho in the video, being objectified, that it's disgusting, etc. Like a previous commenter said, it's a D/s act. It's meant to be objectifying, and it's meant to be sexual, very much so. There's no need to make a fuss about it just because Justin happens to be white. Would you be tripping if it was a black guy instead?
    It's inaccurate and perhaps insulting to label her depiction as desperate or disgusting. Frankly speaking, I'm glad the video's out there to show that this side of sexuality, this kink, does exist, irrelevant of who's holding the chain or what their color of skin is. If it brings up undertones of slavery for you, too bad. People can't help what the color of their skin is or the history attached to it. It's not an issue until you clamor up, claiming it's racist. If an interracial couple practiced D/s in their sex life, does it make them racist? It's different, yes, but it could just as accurately be an illustration of a loving sexual relationship between two adults that have respect for themselves and each other.
    Y'all need to relax.

  • Laurie

    I agree and have wondered about this for a while now. I am a white woman, so it is not because I am sensitive to this issue in my own life. I think accepting this behavior promotes the worst kind of misogynist/racist attitudes, in the sneakiest way.

  • TheGoodGood

    this is the truth right here.. he's an ass, can't dance, can't believe he's getting this amount of play. I hope Bey never does a duet with his ass. Rihanna and Ciara are desperate so they don't count.
    Janet is a fool anyway and still is to this day but Justin, for havign no talent is REALLY getting on my nerves with his high pitched voice and bad songs! Uuugh!

  • DJTJ

    Completely independent of the controversy, lets take a moment Black people to celebrate taking the world by storm. Think about all the top Producers in the industry today (i.e. Timbaland, Will.I.Am, Jermaine Dupri, Rodney Jerkins, Swizz Beats, Neyo, Pharrell, Kanye, JayZ, Ryan Leslie). Think about all the top Artists/Songwriters today (i.e . Beyonce, T-Pain, Neyo, Rihanna, Jamie Foxx, Chris Brown, Janet (made a comeback after the JT fiasco) Lil Wayne, T.I., Kanye, Darius Rucker--taking over Country Music). Take it a step further our top two politicians are black men (Mr. President, US Attorney General Eric Holder); Oprah is killing the daytime television AND magazine industry; Tavis Smiley has recently taken over the NY Times List with his book on Accountability. Notice the common thread... they are all BLACK PEOPLE. If nothing else, be proud of that! Regarding the music industry, if you're a white artist trying to get that number one spot on the Billboard, then be prepared to compete with a sea of Black faces currently taking over the charts, and what better way to do that, than to Collabo with one (or in JT's case, all. lol) of the top artists and producers. It speaks volumes that just a few years ago, everything short of Motown, had a white face, and today, the best a white face can do is jump on a Black man/womans track singing the hook and if lucky, maybe a verse, and a cameo in a video. Again, be proud of that! JT and other non-Black artists clearly recognize that we have skills, and to get to the top you have to meet or beat those at the top by any means necessary. Unfortunately its all about strategy, the current zeitgeist in the industry, and that "dolla dolla bill yall". Are there better ways to go about doing so? Of course. Have music videos (particularly Hip Hop & R/B) gotten out of control? Definitely. Does racism (covert) still exist? Hell yeah. However, the silver lining in all this is that Black People have managed to turn everything they touch to Gold...Platinum...Diamond. Racist, opressed, objectified, commodified, or not ,we are a strong desirable people. Period. Does it make it right? Who knows, the debate continues. And who really knows the meaning or intentions of the people who wrote, directed, and produced the song/video. I just hope that people are wise enough to know when they're getting played, and when to say enough is enough. Draw the line and stick to it. In the end... Karma truly is a B. For JT's sake I hope he isnt that ignorant. Take someone like Robin Thicke... the general consensus is that the black community embraces him. Aruguably, his music is different from JTs and his videos are tastefully done, but he does collabo with just as many Black artists and producers with little controversy... maybe JT can take some pointers from him about being a successful white man in a black dominated genre. But I will pose this question to the readers, if JT was dating Ciara (or any black woman), would people have the same reaction? I myself, have no idea.

  • TWH03

    The fundamental difference in this video being racist/objectified or not... when you look at it, and you see the chains, do you think Amistad and Roots, or do you think kinky unadulterated fun... Love Sex Magic. Bottom line. If your mind thinks slavery when you see it then, an article like this one appears, if your mind thinks dominatrix and all that freaky bedroom stuff then, you see the video probably for what it was and kept it movin. I get both sides of the arguement, but hate it or love it, both are making millions while the rest of us are working hard trying not to lose our houses.

  • http://www.yahoo.com daulo

    people with no respect for themselves. both jt and ciara are blinded by money just like everyone in music and movie industry. they may have money but they all live a sad life coz they are never find satisfaction....also they already exploited themselves and have no sense of direction in life generally.......

  • http://www.statetostatetconnect.com Gina Williams

    I cant believe that someone else sees what I have been seeing since the Janet Jackson thing? I cant stand this white boy......

  • http://www.bravenewwave.com alibomaye

    I have always had a problem with Justin Timberlake's jacking of Black style and his treatment of Janet post Super Bowl. I still find it interesting that white feminists never address these issues:
    http://www.bravenewwave.com/?p=2548

  • Lavern Morris

    To everywhere: THANK YOU you hit that nail s-q-u-a-r-e-l-y on the head same to you harlemchic! The bottom line is that like other posters have said it's about Justin because he's being allowed to get away with it in a way that a black male wouldn't. You wouldn't see Usher allowed to do this to Jessica Simpson or even nasty Paris Hilton as for those saying you don't hold rappers accountable WTF?!! The ONLY males I see getting criticized for 'objectifying' black women are rappers so I guess you people NEVER watch Hollywood films and maybe the only reason why rock stars don't do it is because they don't think we are 'good enough'. Not that I truly give a shit what sleazy rock stars think and I do think we need to change the WHOLE conversation on what is or isn't misogynistic,objectifying,degrading,etc.. Because last time I checked there are white female 'celebrities' who wouldn't even get any attention if not for using their sexuality and only their sexuality to get attention. And why is it that not only Janet but Vanessa Williams also caused such a damn 'controversy'?!! I seriously doubt anyone would have been THAT upset if it were Madonna there certainly wouldn't have been an uproar I mean nobody had a problem at the VMAs when the 2 Russian lesbians had a bunch of teen girls strip to their underwear and start making out onstage why no outcry about that crap?!! And umm what the F$$K does this have to do with R. Kelly and O.J.?!! it's bad enough when stupid white people always use any and EVERY opportunity to take potshots at black celebrites[relevance be damned!!]but why the HELL do we do it too?!

  • ymeone

    Justin gets a pass in my view because he loves black women..plain and simple. There was that one unfortunate incident that happened between Janet and himself, but that doesnt make him a bad person. I'm sorry, had that unfortunate event never happened, Janet would still be crooning and making videos with Justin. I'm not buying this sad story issue with Janet and I'm not feeling sorry for Janet. Justin oozes sex appeal and if I had half the talent of either Janet, Ciara, or Rihanna, I'd be more than happy to lap dance with him anyday. From one black woman to the next!

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  • Eo

    sorry but those are grown ass women. What is done to you is what you let be done to you especially on your own song. I'm a black woman, in this case, ciara is to be blame. If you want to be treated like a whore or slave, then dammit you will be.
    pls stop throwing the race card everytime, It's tired.

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  • Yolanda Wallace

    Are you kidding me? First of all you talk about objectifying women and what the hell do rappers do.... Okay this is not an issue its entertainment and they are grown ass women... LOL I LOVE JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

  • jj

    Before you become outraged at JT look at the current crop of Black entertainers' songs and vids. This is false indignation as many here swoon to the croons of Black artist, purchase their cd's causing them to become number one on the charts.
    If you want respect, start at home first!

  • hollywood

    People need to worry about their own problems honestly. Why spend so much of your time and opinions worrying about celebrities and what they do lol Oh and by the way the black and slavery thing is SOOOO OLD!!!! You people need to relax.

  • Kammi

    @Hollywood,
    You're very ignorant. Slavery will only be old when you crackers own up to and take responsibility for the sins of slavery. Slavery will only become old once my family tree is not f$%^ed up by your horny ass great great grandfathers who raped my great great grandmothers. Oh yeah, slavery will also become old when you all relinquish the assets passed down to you by your lazy ass forefathers who gained and prospered from our free labor.

  • Neal

    read this because of a whole chain of blogs and discussions cascading from and leading back to this.
    Timberlake is white but he's also a man with a set of attractions. Ciara is black but she's also a woman with a set of attractions. Maybe the two of them were into the idea of a little power play, and maybe it manifests in a way that you wouldn't seek personally, but that they were both into, and well paid to engage in. I don't think anyone dragged Ciara onto the set and made her do this. I think she arrived in a limo.
    If Timberlake has a taste for brown skin and dark hair, is that wrong, while a taste for pink skin and blonde hair would be somehow right by comparison? Is focusing on her race in protesting the video any different than claiming Timberlake focuses on her race?
    Also, so what if their chosen power play doesn't turn your crank, it was consensual and all performers use sexuality to sell records, no one can deny that. This reads as outrage for the sake of outrage.

  • MixedChick

    You are obviously racist, if you have a problem with a White boy doing what Black rappers and men already do to us women but not vice versa. Just come out with it, say, "I'm racist and a hypocrite"..
    This should be taken down, no more hate flaming pulling the race card. We are not going to grow as a race when people like you continue spew this garbage for people to read. Delete this trash.
    Racist!

  • Tinnie

    In my opinion, I don't like to see Justin do that to a fine tan sister but that's what's going on in the world today. If a sister see a thin good looking white man do we want them to remain loyal just because we are black men. I'm black and if I could have Ciara in chain or down on her knees doing Lord's knows what, I would if she wanted to do it.
    I think a lot of black women are being brainwashed but what's new they have never really listen to black men but they go to these jobs and the person in charge is a white man in most cases and they never give him a problem when he says do something they do. So part of it is about money Ciara is getting paid so she's probably cool with it. And who knows maybe she is just that attracted to Justin or white men like any other sister. First its was the dark skin sisters back in the day, now its the carmel colored sister I don't like it because its some good brothers out here but that how black women and most women are today they do what they want, when, and with who and don't dare question it.

  • Jessica Habia

    Justin Timberlake is not as bad as you make him sound. He does things for charity all the time, for kids. AND rappers objectify women all the time. And dancing to slavery music? C'mon! Who the heck would get away with selling slavery music? NO ONE! Thats a lie.

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