Jennifer Weiner Puts Justin Timberlake on Blast

Plus, some people want neither Wawa nor Sheetz. Go figure.

Jennifer Weiner, who just wrote a piece for the New York Times about the Justin Timberlake arrest

Jennifer Weiner (Getty Images), who just wrote a piece for the New York Times about the Justin Timberlake arrest (Sag Harbor Police Departmetn)

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Jennifer Weiner Puts Justin Timberlake On Blast In New York Times

It’s been less than a week since police arrested Justin Timberlake on a DUI charge. His mugshot has been shared some countless number of times. Also countless? The number of memes shared surrounding the arrest. Think: “N’Carcerated” and “N’Clink” and “Dick In a Box.” (Hey, I never said they were brilliant memes.) But Philly’s most famous novelist — I am, of course, talking about Queen Village resident Jennifer Weiner — had some deeper thoughts on the subject that she wanted to share with the world.

Share them she did in the New York Times on Saturday in a piece alternately titled “Oops … He Did It Again” and “The Tiresome Mr. Timberlake.”

Weiner writes:

Sprinkling salt on the wound, Page Six reported that the arresting officer didn’t know who the perp was. After Mr. Timberlake reportedly muttered that the arrest was “going to ruin the tour,” the officer asked, “What tour?” Per People magazine, “The internet can’t stop laughing.” Among the cascade of jokes: that his arrest might be the one event that could turn all of X pro-cop for a day and that Mr. Timberlake should have been more concerned with taking a cab back than bringing sexy back. Streams of Britney Spears’s song “Criminal” spiked. Savage memes keep replicating.

The misery of celebrities always occasions a fire hose of schadenfreude, but this seems next level. Where, I found myself wondering as I scrolled and LOL’ed, are the fans rallying to his defense? Why is everyone enjoying this quite so very, very much?

All very good questions. In the end, after the 2021 documentary about Britney Spears came out (Britney Spears being an ex-girlfriend of Timberlake), Weiner opines, “he looked less like a pop Prince Charming, more a serial exploiter of women and of Black music and culture, a man who has enjoyed unearned privilege and undeserved successes, who has been served that long-awaited slice of humble pie.”

Oh my! You can read the whole Times essay for yourself here.

I reached out to Weiner on Sunday to see what kind of reaction she’s had to the Timberlake piece.

“I don’t read the comments and I stay off social media,” she replied. (Smart woman!) “I think Justin’s a hot topic, whether you’re a former fan or a current one or a teenager who only knows him from the Trolls movies. And he’s now the focal point of bigger conversations about race and male privilege and reproductive freedom. I don’t expect everyone to agree with my take, but I hope the way I framed the conversation about the arrest and the fallout gave people something to think about! And the memes were very funny.”

For more on Jennifer Weiner, check out my 2023 interview, in which she expresses her fondness for yoga pants and Zahav and addresses Madonna’s new face

Trump In Philly

The guy who wants to be president again came to the Liacouras Center at Temple on Saturday. He talked about starting a UFC-style competition for migrants who come into the country across the southern border. He lied about the 2020 election results. Again. And, naturally, he stopped in South Philly for a cheesesteak. There, he encountered a young boy who is apparently a big Trump fan. If you were sunning yourself at the Jersey Shore all weekend, be thankful you missed all this.

Wawa vs. Sheetz

It turns out that the good folks of this Phoenixville neighborhood don’t want either of them.

By the Numbers

31: Age of the Philadelphia police officer shot in the head on Saturday night after a traffic stop in North Philadelphia. As of Monday morning, the officer in question remained on life support. Police quickly arrested a suspect.

12: Trader Joe’s stores in the greater Philadelphia area once this one opens in King of Prussia, probably later this year.

24: Hours that some passengers said they were waiting for their luggage at Philadelphia International Airport as of Monday morning due to travel snafus brought on by bad weather and staffing issues.

Local Talent

Lower Merion High School grad Lizzy McAlpine just finished a stint at Radio City Music Hall. And now, the singer-songwriter comes home for two shows at the Met on Monday and Tuesday. I recently spoke with the 24-year-old Narberth native about why she’s not so fond of TikTok.

And in a complete 180, I also spoke with the Harriton High grad behind the way-viral “Man In Finance” thing on TikTok. Megan Boni aka “Girl On Couch” tells me how a silly little 10-second video she released in late April has allowed her to quit her corporate job and spend the summer eating cheesesteaks from Dino’s in Margate. What a world! You can read that interview here.