Some Twitter users were saying “Bye Bye Bye” to a Justin Timberlake meme as May checked in.
It’s become an internet tradition to share a picture, GIF or short video of Timberlake from his NSYNC days with the caption “It’s Gonna Be May” in late April.
Timberlake sings the title line of the boy band’s 2000 album “It’s Gonna Be Me,” pronouncing “me” like the month “May.”
The meme first appeared on Tumblr in 2012, according to Know Your Meme, a website that monitors viral material online.
However, in light of the New York Times documentary “Framing Britney Spears,” which premiered on Hulu in February, some fans are updating the May meme to include Spears rather than Timberlake this year.
“I made this to replace the dumb ‘going to be might’ meme – you’re welcome world,” user @CrappyFumes posted, adding that she was not a fan of Timberlake. The user replaced the old meme with a photo of Britney Spears from her “Oops!…I Did It Again” video, captioning it “Just so Can.”
But to lose all my senses / That is just so usually me,” Spears sings in the song.
It’s almost the end of April, which means ‘It’s Gonna Be May.’ Why did the meme become so well-known?
Kristin Russo, an author and podcast host, was blunt in her criticism of Timberlake, tweeting a harsh message and posting a photo of Spears and Madonna from their “Me Against the Music” video with the caption “It’s May (Against the Music).”
Others, including user @Daveycrits, stuck to the classic meme, tweeting, “It’s April 30th, so leave out cookies for Justin Timberlake.”
“Framing Britney” examines the rise of Spears’ career, her mental health issues, the media’s mistreatment of her, and the discord surrounding her conservatorship, which is largely governed by her father, Jamie.
It also sparked outrage among fans about how some people, including Timberlake, handled Spears. Before separating in 2002, the high-profile pop duo dated for several years.
There was speculation at the time that they split up because Spears was unfaithful, which Timberlake seemed to confirm when he released the music video for his 2002 song “Cry Me A River,” in which he sang to a Spears look-alike.
In the documentary’s early aughts interview footage, Timberlake seems to have little sympathy for Spears, who once said publicly that she wanted to remain a virgin before marriage.
When asked if he slept with Spears on the radio, Timberlake joked, “Well, I did it!” before appearing to backtrack, though the audio is ambiguous.
Justin Timberlake apologized to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson, saying, “I know I failed.”
Timberlake apologized to his pop star ex on Instagram after receiving a lot of backlash on social media.
“I’ve seen the messages, tags, remarks, and questions, and I’d like to address them.” He said, “I am sincerely sorry for the times in my life when my behavior contributed to the issue when I spoke out of turn or did not speak up for what was right.”
Janet Jackson, who co-headlined the XXXVIII Super Bowl Halftime Show with Timberlake, received an apology as well.
Timberlake tugged on part of Jackson’s outfit at the end of the 2004 performance, causing a wardrobe malfunction that exposed her right breast in front of a 140 million TV audience.
“I want to personally apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson because I care for and admire these people, and I know I failed,” he added, “The industry is flawed.” It positions men, especially white men, for success. As a man in a privileged role, I feel compelled to speak out about it. I didn’t know it for what it was because of my ignorance when it was happening in my own life, but I don’t want to profit from anyone being pulled down again.”
In the aftermath of ‘Framing Britney,’ Britney Spears says she’s focused on becoming a “average citizen.”
I hate Justin Timberlake so I made this to replace the stupid “gonna be may” meme – you’re welcome world pic.twitter.com/2RJjWqIfK6
— cathy *acab forever* humes (@CrappyFumes) April 30, 2021
It's April 30th so leave out cookies for Justin Timberlake because tomorrow pic.twitter.com/tIMgqucvPK
— Daveycrits (@Daveycrits) April 30, 2021