Justin Timberlake’s attempt to wish Madonna a very happy 56th birthday on Twitter blew up in his face after fans took offence to a particular phrase he used in the tweet.
The singer had tweeted on Saturday, ‘A happiest of Bdays to my mother chucking ninja, @Madonna!! Hope you have a great one, M!’ but there was just one problem. The phrase ‘mother chucking ninja’ is often used to substitute the obviously offensive ‘motherf***ing n***er’.
So the backlash came swiftly.
‘I knew Justin Timberlake was getting too close for comfort with black culture but now he is saying ninja. #nosir,’ tweeted one user. ‘Justin Timberlake chose *this* week to call Madonna ‘my ninja’? I just can’t,’ wrote another.
Another fan put it more simply, ‘Get Justin Timberlake the f**k out of here.’
Timberlake deleted the tweet, and did not bother to clarify or apologize.