Justin Timberlake made an early appearance on the iHeartRadio Music Awards stage when he accepted the award for best song. His song was "CAN'T STOP THE FEELING!" but his speech may have been even better. He used his 30 seconds onstage to promote a message about inclusion and diversity that had us cheering.
Here's what he said:
"If you are Black or you are brown or you are gay or lesbian or you are trans, or maybe you're just a sissy singing boy from Tennessee... Anybody that is treating you unkindly, it's only because they are afraid or they have been taught to be afraid of how important you are. Because being different means you make the difference, so fuck 'em."
The last line of his speech was censored, but we all know what he was saying. Justin Timberlake is for the kids. And the kids have always been more ready for reality than adults have given them credit for. Watch his speech below.
We love this message of radical acceptance. It's one thing to be famous and make music that people love. It's quite something else to use your celebrity to promote diversity and lambast bullying. Even though Timberlake's message may seem obvious to us, given the recent climate, it feels filled with daring political meaning. Granted, the iHeartRadio Music Awards aren't the biggest stage in the world, but any message like this will nevertheless find its way to the right people. So we applaud Justin for using his platform to tell everyone that they can and do belong.
As for the censorship, that bleep is almost always a more powerful message than the word itself. Timberlake may seem like he was saying something crazy-dangerous, but really he was just punctuating his great speech. We all wish we could be a bit more like Justin.
Check out his quote in graphic form below.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/iHeartMedia/Getty Images