The reaction was a long time coming.

Hey, do you want to hear the whitest phrase in the English language? It’s “Justin Randall Timberlake was arrested for DWI in Sag Harbor on a Tuesday.” My goodness, just typing these words conjures up the phantom taste of potato salad with raisins.

Poor Justin Timberlake. He’s had some tough years, hasn’t he? He’s probably not used to all the bad press after decades of living in the spotlight as *NSYNC’s favorite son. But sure enough, on June 18, he was arrested in the Hamptons on suspicion of drunk driving. His ID photo– cloudy sky blue eyes – has already been republished thousands of times. His reported words during his arrest — a perfect setup and punchline, if Page Six is ​​to be believed — have also already been turned into a never-ending scroll of memes. No argument there: it could indeed spoil the world tour.

Gen Xers and millennials have a hard time remembering a time when Timberlake wasn’t a dominant cultural force. When *NSYNC’s debut album was recorded in 1998, he was the clean-cut, much-loved idol of a boy band that had ramen for hair. When he went solo in 2002, with Justified, audiences were too distracted by how great “Cry Me a River” was to adequately recognize how stupid the album name — and the fedora that accompanied it — was. Since then, Timberlake has remained one of our most enduring celebrities. He charmed with his tearful anxiety Punk (someone put Ashton Kutcher straight to jail) and delighted in his Barry – and – Robin Gibb routine with Jimmy Fallon on Saturday Night Live. He dated Britney Spears, then publicly accused her of cuckolding him; he might as well have marked her with a big old SLUT directly on his forehead. In 2004, he performed at the Super Bowl halftime show with Janet Jackson; in an incident that taught the world the words wardrobe malfunction, Timberlake ripped off Jackson’s top and exposed her chest, throwing her into a vortex of public shame. Subsequently, he won two Grammys.

For a good decade and a half, it seemed like Timberlake was untouchable. He has been on the periphery of a thousand scandals but has never suffered any serious repercussions himself. He was mischievous, arrogant and famous since childhood. There didn’t even seem to be any consequences from his wife, Jessica Biel, after he was photographed in 2019 holding his son’s hand. Palmer co-host Alisha Wainwright. “I should have known better,” Timberlake wrote in the Notes app apology, which I can only assume was seen by millions more people than ever before. Palmer.

Timberlake, whether he realized it or not, had been walking on fractured ice for the past few years. The tide began to turn against him after Spears’ conservatorship was covered by Framing Britney Spears, and her own public reckoning took the form of celebrities, comedians, and regular people on the internet endlessly apologizing to her for the way we made fun of her in the beginning. Shouldn’t her ex-boyfriend, guilty of helping start the trend, also apologize? His memoir, as well as the numerous documentaries chronicling his media treatment, portray Timberlake as, at best, a hapless Caucasian shouting “fo’ shiz, fo’ shiz” at Ginuwine. At worst, in hindsight, he was cruel and selfish, deceiving Spears privately while publicly dragging her through the mud, burying her in the unique kind of bad press only a woman can suffer. The Jackson scandal also received the documentary treatment, similarly reminding the world that Timberlake was half the equation of the lowest point of her career and yet she had endured no consequences when he ripped off her high. His apology to Jackson came 17 years too late.

It’s not necessarily surprising that a very rich and famous man was arrested on suspicion of having a little too much and driving around Sag Harbor, a town popular with wealthy elites looking to escape Manhattan for summer. What is striking here is that schadenfreude is excluded from this story. No detail is too small to be picked up by the gossip hordes: the baby-faced cop who pulled over who didn’t even know who Timberlake was (mortifying), the bartender who confirmed the singer hadn’t actually ordered only one drink, the New York Times reporter who was sent to Sag Harbor to cover this vital story, only to be harassed by locals.

But the online joy over Timberlake’s fall could never have happened overnight. For years, quietly and then increasingly vocally, a number of frustrated pop culture fans have resented Timberlake. They grew up with him, as he said recently during the Chicago leg of his aforementioned world tour, as he thanked the crowd for “rolling with” him after his arrest. These spectators had a front-row seat to reality: he’s no longer a pretty 24-year-old whose album we never take out of our CD player, he’s the 43-year-old guy from your hometown who doesn’t. Don’t stop talking. about that great game he played as captain of the football team. As the collective understanding of gender and race politics in mainstream culture has changed, we see Timberlake’s role with more clarity. He’s no longer the idol. He is out of step with the times; the audience can better see his troubled history with women, from Britney to Janet to, of course, his long-suffering wife, who has done nothing wrong except stealing from her siblings’ piggy bank. 7th Sky.

A loud, comical backlash has been brewing for years, waiting for one more misstep to break the dam on those decades of pent-up feelings about Timberlake. Drinking while driving is a perfect practice for a now irritated public; it is an easily preventable crime that suggests entitlement and a lack of regard for the well-being of others. Timberlake’s downfall, as the fading tabloid coverage and online reactions suggest, is tinged with joy; if he can fall that low, that means almost any previously invincible man can. And maybe they should.

It’s difficult and even a little painful to guess what goes through Timberlake’s mind when he has moments to himself, after this series of nadirs after a career that has continued to rise. Does it bother him that his concert at Madison Square Garden, which takes place tonight, is not sold out? What about the even emptier Wednesday show? Is he haunted that his last album, supposed to be a big comeback after years of inactivity, completely failed? Does he long for the days when he could stand like a cup of soup on SNL, or in a brain-dead sketch with Jimmy Fallon (who also battled bad press after years of being the good guy), and the audience would fall over in joy? It must be hard now, living in the calm and contempt that remains.

But that’s the problem with characters like Timberlake, right? We’re getting old; they stay at the same age.

Gn entert
News Source : slate.com

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