I just came back to my laptop after a meeting, checked in with PEOPLE.com to see if I’ve missed anything, and was surprised to see this headline at the top of their page, freshly posted at 1135am ET. 

PEOPLE's headline about Justin Timberlake

We covered the Justin Timberlake social media clowning yesterday which is on brand for our site, LaineyGossip.com. But is it on brand for PEOPLE.com?! It’s not, really, which is why it surprised me and why I’m talking about it here. Because PEOPLE is typically super safe with celebrities, to put it generously, and less generously, they usually kiss celebrity ass. Just yesterday they had a post about Jessica Biel and how she’s “not happy” about Justin’s arrest but “will always be by his side”. 


Now a day later they’re talking about how he’s getting mocked online. And sharing some of those posts. How do you think JT and his team will react when they see this? Given the fragility of this man’s ego, I’m guessing … not well? And PEOPLE.com doesn’t seem to give a f-ck about that right now. They’d rather inform their MiniVan Majority audience that Justin Timberlake’s become TikTok’s favourite joke. So either they aren’t worried that there will be retribution or they don’t actually think there will be retribution… 

And if that’s the case, it speaks to Justin’s cultural power right now. That it’s weakened to the point where an ass-kissy publication like PEOPLE doesn’t care about mocking him. 


Justin’s pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. And his lawyer says he’s fighting the allegations “vigorously”. For now, then, it’s a posture of innocence while he and his legal team wait for the Hampton’s authorities to disclose whatever evidence they have against him. The court of public opinion, though, as we have seen, has already decided, based on all the reporting that’s come out about his arrest, the fact that he refused a breathalyzer, and the way he looks in his mugshot, that he was indeed drinking and driving. So even if he scores a legal victory, right now his reputation has suffered a massive loss. It’ll be interesting to see what he has to say, if anything, when he’s back on tour in Chicago tomorrow night. It’ll also be interesting to see whether or not the dashcam footage is released. If the dashcam footage exonerates him, it would be to his great advantage that it gets out. If the dashcam footage supports the police decision to pull him over and perform the sobriety tests that resulted in him being taken into custody, well, the clowning will only get worse. And his legal team will do the most to make sure it doesn’t get leaked. This happened in the Hamptons, a haven for the wealthy and powerful. Will that work to JT’s favour with respect to whether or not the dashcam show comes out?