Justin Timberlake’s Inspiring Teen Choice Awards Speech: Watch

Christina Lee | August 1, 2016 11:00 am
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Looks like Justin Timberlake learned from his mistakes.

On July 31, the pop superstar received the 2016 Teen Choice Decade Award, the first in the award show’s history. This honor came a month after he was blasted for his clueless response to Jesse Williams‘ BET Awards speech. “We are the same,” Justin said, despite how Jesse talked specifically about black American struggles. But when he took the stage at the Teen Choice Awards, Justin acted as if he heard and actually learned from the criticism he received on Twitter. Here, he made sure to correct what he had said before.

“My parents did their best not to fill my young mind with prejudice or hate, but with compassion and love,” the new dad said. “I think that’s why part of the reason today, I try to live my life working most closely with, making music with, and spending so much of my time with an amazing group of people — male, female, straight, gay, every walk of life. People who help each other and find a common ground. I was drawn to all these people not because they look like me, but because they think and feel like me.

“The truth is, we’re all different. But that does not mean that we all don’t want the same thing.”

Justin also gave credit to his past influences, including Al Green, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder, after one Twitter user had accused him of cultural appropriation after the BET Awards. He closed his speech with three nuggets of wisdom from the late Muhammad Ali.

Watch Justin Timberlake’s rousing Teen Choice Awards speech below.

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