.

Justin Timberlake Song 'Shows How Far We Have to Go,' Says Take Back the Night Foundation

Sexual assault awareness group seeks 'amicable resolution' to possible legal action over name

July 15, 2013 7:25 PM ET
Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake performs in London, England.
Neil Lupin/Redferns via Getty Images

Justin Timberlake surprised everyone by announcing a second volume of his smash album, The 20/20 Experience. But there's already a controversy surrounding the project: Last week, the pop star unveiled the album's new single, "Take Back the Night," which is facing criticism for its title, as it is also the name of a well-known sexual assault awareness foundation.

Random Notes: Hottest Rock Pictures

The Take Back the Night Foundation's lawyers sent a letter to Timberlake, threatening legal action over using the trademarked name without permission. Timberlake issued a formal apology with Radar Online, stating that he was unfamiliar with the group's existence and hoped his song would spread the word about its mission.

"It just shows how far we have to go when Take Back the Night as a historic movement to end sexual violence in all forms is still not widely enough known, according to Mr. Timberlake, that he claims he didn't know that we existed," Take Back the Night Executive Director Katherine Koestner tells Rolling Stone. "It shows exactly how much work we have to do as an organization and as a cause to end sexual violence to get our visibility increased in pop culture."

Koestner says the group is still awaiting a response after its volunteer attorney sent a legal notice to Timberlake's legal team.

Aside from the trademark question, the organization is concerned that the track's lyrics don't reflect its own longstanding goals.

"Our mission is to end sexual violence, not to end sex," says Koestner. "In reading the lyrics, I think they're open to a lot of interpretation. They're clearly sexual, but they're not about sexual assault – so I think the problem may be just confusion with how an overtly sexual song matches with the mission of ending sexual violence."

Koestner adds that she hopes the two parties can work out their differences. "As a foundation, we're all about promoting healthy, respectful relationships," she says. "So if Justin is on the side of healthy, respectful relationships, then we're a fan of his. And I hope we can move forward with his voice, and all of those throughout the world that stand against sexual violence."

Additional reporting by Killian Young

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com