John Mayer faces searing backlash over ‘hypocritical’ Britney Spears comments

John Mayer and Britney Spears

John Mayer has been labelled a hypocrite after weighing in on Framing Britney Spears.

The singer revealed that he “almost cried five times” while watching Framing Britney Spears, the acclaimed documentary examining the mistreatment the singer has received at the hands of the media. 

Appearing on Andy Cohen’s Sirius XM radio show, Mayer explained how he realised his experience with fame has been very different, and that the difference came from his privilege.

“I came out OK,” he said. “I have a very strong feeling that part of that is because I’m a man. And I have a very strong feeling that a lot of these things that happen to female performers is endemic to being female.”

“If you’re a man, you’re an outlaw,” he told Cohen. “If you’re a woman, you’re kind of crazy. And when I watched that through that lens, my heart just ached the whole time.”

Mayer’s comments were labelled tone deaf by many, who compared his treatment of ex-girlfriends Taylor Swift and Jessica Simpson to the way Spears was treated after her break-up with Justin Timberlake.

After Mayer and Simpson broke up in 2010, Mayer famously referred to her as “sexual napalm” in a Playboy interview.

Simpson later wrote in her 2020 memoir that Mayer called off their on-again-off-again relationship via email multiple times.

“He would tell me that my true self is so much greater than the person I was settling on being,” Simpson wrote. “Like there was some great woman inside me waiting to come out, and I had to hurry up and find her because he wanted to love that woman, not me.”

Many also raised Taylor Swift’s 2010 song “Dear John”, widely believed to be about their brief relationship a year prior, when she was 19 and he 32.

In the song, Swift sings: “Dear John, I see it all now, it was wrong / Don’t you think 19’s too young / To be played by your dark, twisted games / When I loved you so?”

Mayer previously said he was “humiliated” by the track, which fans argue fed into the toxic narrative that has followed Swift for much of her career, painting her as the crazy ex-girlfriend.


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