The music producer has found himself in hot water after joking that the pop star's ex-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, should "put a muzzle" on her amid the release of her tell-all memoir The Woman in Me.
Timbaland (born Tim Mosley) made the eyebrow-raising comment during an Oct. 29 Q&A at the Kennedy Center for Performing Art, as seen in a clip circulating online. When an audience member noted that his 2002 collab with Justin "Cry Me a River"—which has long been rumored to be about the *NSYNC star's early aughts breakup with Britney—was making headlines due to her new book, the 51-year-old quipped, "She going crazy."
"I wanted to call and say, ‘JT, you gotta put a muzzle on that girl,'" he continued. "But you know what? We live in an age of social media and everybody wanna go viral. I get it, because that's the way you make money. Go viral."
Since then, Timbaland's own remarks have gone viral, with many social media users putting him on blast.
"It's a joke that a terrible person like Timbaland is roaming around saying whatever he wants," one person wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. "Yuck."
"Men want to silence and isolate anyone that divulges the truth about them or their boy-buddies, especially those with a perceived disability," a second X user wrote, with a third user added, "Imagine in 2023 saying a woman should have a muzzle put on her for speaking her truth."
Timbaland later offered an apology on TikTok.
"I'm sorry to all the Britney fans, even to her," he said in a video. "I'm sorry, because muzzle was—no, you have a voice. You speak what you want to speak. Who am I to tell you what not to speak? And I was wrong for saying that."
Amid the backlash, several Britney fans also pointed out how Timbaland once offered to collaborate with the "...Baby One More Time" singer following her split from Justin, but changed his tune and publicly bashed her for having "no comeback story" after she enlisted his protégé Danja to help produce her 2007 album Blackout.
E! News has reached out to Timbaland's manager for comment but hasn't heard back.
For all the juicy revelations from Britney's book, keep reading.
This story was updated on Nov. 7, 2023 at 7:41 p.m. PT with Timbaland's apology.