Justin Timberlake has issued an apology following the release of a new unauthorized documentary about Britney Spears. As Entertainment Tonight shares, Timberlake took to Instagram on Friday to address the backlash he received because of The New York Times Presents Framing Britney Spears, taking accountability for his past actions.

Timberlake portrayed favourably after split from Spears

Timberlake and Spears dated for several years before they broke up in 2002, and the unauthorized documentary shows how the media spun the narrative in Timberlake's favour. "OK, yeah, I did it!" the NSYNC star is heard saying during a radio interview with a New York station from 2003, after he's asked about whether or not he and Spears had ever slept together.

In contrast, a clip of Diane Sawyer interviewing Spears the same year sees the pop star being questioned about how she supposedly broke Timberlake's heart. As Entertainment Tonight mentions, people were quick to call out Timberlake on social media after watching the documentary— not only for his treatment of Spears, but for how he acted towards Janet Jackson following her wardrobe mishap at the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.

Pop star Britney Spears and her boyfriend at the time, singer Justin Timberlake at the 28th Annual American Music Awards 2001

Timberlake says he "failed" both Spears and Jackson

Timberlake acknowledged at the beginning of his statement how he's aware of the comments and criticism he has recently received, before going on to apologize for his behaviour. "I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right," Timberlake wrote on Instagram.

"I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism," he continued. "I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed."

Timberlake addresses misogyny and white privilege

Timberlake also said that "this is a larger conversation that I wholeheartedly want to be part of and grow from," and acknowledged why he feels it's important for him to speak out. "The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success," he explained. "It's designed this way. As a man in a privileged position I have to be vocal about this."

And while Timberlake acknowledged that his public apology "is a first step and doesn't absolve the past," he also vowed to be more aware of how his actions impact others in the future! "I care deeply about the wellbeing of the people I love and have loved," he concluded his statement. "I can do better and I will do better."