The second coming of Justin Timberlake seemed to please just about everyone on the planet, but latest single Take Back The Night has left a bad taste in the mouth of a well-established anti-rape organisation of the same name. Take Back The Night officials have lashed out at the crooner, claiming he’s managed to undo years of hard work and that he doesn’t seem to fussed about it.
Speaking to Radar, Take Back the Night Foundation Executive Director Katherine Koestner explained, “Everyone at Take Back the Night is really shocked, because normally we get asked when people want to use the name. Normally entities as large as Justin Timberlake do very kind and thoughtful things to support our cause.”
Understandably, this has ruffled the feathers of the organisation but the damage doesn’t end there. While the subject matter of the song falls far short of being pro-rape, the track and the whole album are riddled with sexual references and the key words of the track’s title have caused SEO issues for the foundation.
“We have some big concerns. For example, all of a sudden on Wikipedia, “Take Back the Night” has a different definition. That’s not been helpful. 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.”
Attempts to reach out to JT have been so far unsuccessful as Koestner explains:
“We tried to contact him through his website and got no answer. Then we sent him a letter Friday from our legal counsel saying ‘You used our name without our permission.’ They got back to us and said they’re sorry. 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. 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.”
However the organisation remains hopeful that a peaceful compromise can be arranged. “Usually people are pretty mindful because no one is actually ‘for’ sexual assault,” she said. “This whole thing with Justin is just really unfortunate and we’re hoping it can be amicably resolved.”
JT has since opened up to Radar in the wake of Take Back The Night’s concerns. “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,” Timberlake said.
“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.”
Take Back The Night is expected to be the first single from Timberlake’s forthcoming follow-up to The 20/20 Experience, set for release later this year.
Listen: Justin Timberlake – Take Back The Night