Justin Timberlake recently got himself into a minor mess by neglecting to use Google–though his new single ably apes Off the Wall-era MJ, it’s also called “Take Back the Night,” which shares it name with one of history’s more famous anti-rape campaigns. We’re kind of flabbergasted no one on Timberlake’s team thought this might cause a problem…?
Take Back the Night, as in the organization, apparently sent a letter to the superstar, plainly stating, “You used our name without our permission.” Accurate! Alternatively, they could have gone for, “You took the name of our anti-sexual assault campaign and repurposed it as a fun, sexy come-on.”
TBTN’s executive director Katherine Koestner told Radar, “This whole thing with Justin is just really unfortunate and we’re hoping it can be amicably resolved.”
Timberlake has now responded with an official statement but still no explanation of how this managed to happen. Per 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.”
While the statement is appropriately supportive, it seems weird to end on “I hope my fun sexy throwback single will now raise awareness for an organization I just learned existed.”
On the bright side, it’s still better than “Suit & Tie.”