It’s a little hard to believe that no one in Justin Timberlake’s camp was familiar with Take Back The Night, the anti-violence women’s organization that holds events every year to, among other functions, protest the typically propagated narrative that if something bad happens to a woman at night, she should’ve been paying better attention. It’s more understandable when you figure that Timberlake himself might’ve been aware of the organization had he gone to college, where the organization is most prominent, but he didn’t—he was busy getting an education in how incredibly awesome it is to be a young, rich, famous and handsome pop star. Still, that his new song of the same name drops lyrics like “Dizzy, spinning, sweating, you can’t catch your breath” and “No one but you and crowded rooms, we can do anything (yeah)” isn’t exactly the best look—it’s a rapey look, to be specific—but Timberlake immediately owned up to his mistake in a statement to Radar:
“Upon the release of my new single ‘Take Back The Night’, I was made aware of an organization of the same name called The Take Back The Night Foundation.
“I wanted to take this opportunity to let all know that neither my song nor its lyrics have any association with the organization. As I’ve learned more about The Take Back The Night Foundation, I’m moved by its efforts to stop violence against women, create safe communities and encourage respectful relationships for women — Something we all should rally around.
“It is my hope that this coincidence will bring more awareness to this cause.”
Which it might! Currently, the Wikipedia entry for the song is fourth on Google’s rankings; the top three spots are occupied by the organization, which means a teenager looking for the lyrics to his favorite JT banger might just come away with a healthier respect for women. It’s a strange path to get there, but a path nevertheless.