July 15, 2013


Justin Timberlake Responds to Anti-Sexual Assault Group

Theo Wargo
Theo Wargo

Update: Justin Timberlake has released a statement to RadarOnline.com confirming that neither "Take Back the Night" nor "its lyrics have any association with the organization [Take Back the Night]." The statement continues, "It is my hope that this coincidence will bring more awareness to this cause."

While millions of fans were cheering the release of Justin Timberlake's sleek, sexy R&B single "Take Back the Night," long standing anti-sexual assault charity Take Back the Night was none to pleased.

Fuse reported on the questionable nature of the title last week, but now the organization has officially chimed in.

Katherine Koestner, executive director of the charity, told Radar Online that Timberlake never even approached them about permission to use their name for the single, which will appear on the forthcoming 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2.

"Everyone at Take Back The Night is really shocked, because normally we get asked when people want to use the name," Koestner told said. "Normally entities as large as Justin Timberlake do very kind and thoughtful things to support our cause."

The organization was also not thrilled with the lyrical content of the song because they don't exactly want their anti-sexual assault organization to be associated with a song about super sexy times. Koestner explained:

"The lyrics are definitely very sexual and not at all clearly anti-sexual violence. 'Use me', for example, is not a great phrase for anyone affiliated with the organisation."

Timberlake also met blow back after the release of the very NSFW vid for single "Tunnel Vision," which was criticized for perceived objectification of women. The video, which features a clothed Timberlake amidst throngs of writhing naked women, was briefly taken down by YouTube but was reposted after execs deemed the video to be "art."

Take Back the Night reportedly attempted to contact Justin through his website and after not receiving an answer, resorted to sending him a letter from their legal counsel. After the "Sexyback" singer's agent got the letter, Team Justin was quick to reply.

"His agent said 'Justin's a good guy! He's a family man!' They claimed he'd never heard of us before he wrote that song," Koestner said. "I don't know what country he's been in. I suppose it could have slipped off his radar screen somehow. Somebody working for him definitely messed up."

While Koesnter hopes that the two parties can come to some sort of peaceful agreement, she isn't thrilled that the Timberlake machine failed to do its homework.

“It’s a big song, and he didn’t take the necessary steps to make sure that it was appropriate,” she said. “Normally they do have due diligence."

“Usually people are pretty mindful because no one is actually ‘for’ sexual assault. This whole thing with Justin is just really unfortunate and we’re hoping it can be amicably resolved.”