The singer began streaming his track ‘Take Back The Night’ on Friday (July 12). It’s the first song to be taken from his upcoming album ‘The 20/20 Experience – Part 2’.
However, the executive director of the Take Back The Night group, which has been in operation as a charitable foundation since 1999, has now claimed that Timberlake failed to ask permission to use their name.
“Everyone at Take Back The Night is really shocked, because normally we get asked when people want to use the name,” Katherine Koestner told Radar Online. “Normally entities as large as Justin Timberlake do very kind and thoughtful things to support our cause.”
Continuing, Koestner said her organisation has “big concerns” over Timberlake’s use of the phrase “Take Back The Night” and took issue with the song’s lyrics. “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.”
Koestner also revealed that her organisation is now in communication with Timberlake and his team. “We tried to contact him through his website and got no answer. Then we sent him a letter Friday (July 12) from our legal counsel saying ‘You used our name without our permission’.”
“They got back to us and said they’re sorry,” Koestner continued. “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.”
Although Koestner went on to criticise Timberlake for failing to “take the necessary steps to make sure that it was appropriate,” she also made clear that the Take Back The Night foundation is keen to reach an agreement with the singer. “This whole thing with Justin is just really unfortunate and we’re hoping it can be amicably resolved,” she added.
Timberlake played ‘Take Back The Night’ during his headline set at London’s Wireless Festival on Friday night (July 12). He’ll return tonight (July 14) to headline the third and final night of the festival alongside Jay-Z as part of their ‘Legends Of The Summer’ world tour.