'I have to be vocal about this': Justin Timberlake apologises for 'failing' Britney Spears, Janet Jackson

Justin Timberlake has apologised to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson after a new documentary chronicled his behaviour towards the two stars. 

His apology follows a flood of comments on his social media accounts, condemning his behaviour towards Spears following their highly publicised breakup in 2002 - which has recently been brought to the fore by the new documentary Framing Britney Spears.

The documenatry airs an old interview with Timberlake where he speaks about having sex with Spears, and hints that he ridiculed her by hiring a lookalike of her for his 'Cry Me a River' music video. 

Timberlake also received criticism as social media users recalled the infamous 2004 Superbowl wardrobe malfunction with Jackson, where he pulled off a section of her costume and revealed her breast.

Many believe Jackson was treated far harsher than Timberlake because she is a black woman, while he benefited from white male privilege. 

In an Instagram post on Saturday Timberlake said he is "deeply sorry" for the way he treated Jackson and Spears.

"The industry is flawed," Timberlake wrote on Instagram.

"It sets men, especially white men, up for success...as a man in a privileged position I have to be vocal about this.

"I am deeply sorry for the times in my life when my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn or did not speak up for what was right."

The New York Times documentary Framing Britney Spears will be available to watch in New Zealand for free from Monday on ThreeNow.