Here's perhaps the best advice one could give a celebrity trying to navigate the world of social media: Think before you tweet, and choose your words carefully. For you will be judged.
"A happiest of Bdays to my mother chucking ninja, @Madonna!! Hope you have a great one, M!" Timberlake reportedly wrote in a tweet that has since been deleted.
Almost immediately, Twitter users began calling out the 33-year-old singer for his use of the word, which is viewed by many a still-troublesome substitute for the word "n****":
Justin Timberlake chose *this* week to call Madonna "my ninja"? I just can't.
— Olivia A. Cole (@RantingOwl) August 16, 2014
I knew Justin Timberlake was getting too close for comfort with black culture but now he is saying ninja. #nosir
— brandi marie (@b_mariegreen) August 17, 2014
Timberlake has since deleted the tweet and most recently retweeted:
The world is watching #Ferguson.
[And we pray.]
— Matt Morris (@MattMorris) August 17, 2014