John Mayer recently said he had an emotional reaction to the "Framing Britney Spears" documentary.
In response, people online have resurfaced troubling anecdotes from his ex-girlfriends.
Jessica Simpson's memoir and Taylor Swift's "Dear John" have been cited as examples of misogyny.
John Mayer's troubled dating history has resurfaced after he shared an emotional response to the New York Times documentary "Framing Britney Spears."
The "New Light" singer recently said that he "almost cried five times" while watching the film, which examines the detrimental effects of misogyny on Spears' life and career.
"To go through this and come out the other side OK is to have infinite grace for those who struggle with it," he told Andy Cohen on SiriusXM. "I came out OK ... 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."
Mayer also said Spears "got much more maligned by the inhuman experiment of fame than I did."
"Framing Britney Spears" has triggered a reckoning with toxic celebrity culture, as well as famous men who silently benefit from a sexist system. In its wake, Spears' ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake was compelled to apologize for being complicit in how the media demonized her.
For many people, however, Mayer belongs in the same camp.
TikTok and Twitter users have been digging up stories and anecdotes from Mayer's own exes, many of whom accused the musician of manipulative behavior.
One person devoted two TikTok videos to reading excerpts from Jessica Simpson's 2020 memoir, "Open Book," in which she wrote that Mayer broke up with her dozens of times, always via email.
She also said he would try to control or "win" conversations, and that he regularly made her feel inadequate.
"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."
"I constantly worried that I wasn't smart enough for him," she continued. "I was so afraid of disappointing him that I couldn't even text him without having someone check my grammar and spelling."
"My anxiety would spike and I would pour another drink," she added, according to People. "It was the start of me relying on alcohol to mask my nerves."
Simpson also wrote that Mayer would bring up her exes "just to have something to be jealous about."
Simpson and Mayer began dating in mid-2006 and split in May 2007 - the same year Spears shaved her head.
They eventually got back together, but things ended for good when, in 2010, he infamously referred to her as "sexual napalm" in an interview with Playboy, which she said "floored and embarrassed" her.
In the same interview, he made racist remarks and used the N-word.
"Maybe John Mayer should sit out this discussion on the sexual exploitation of female pop stars," author Lauren Morrill tweeted.
—Lauren Morrill 🍕❤️ (@LaurenEMorrill) February 24, 2021
Some people on Twitter also recalled Mayer's alleged treatment of Taylor Swift, whom he dated briefly in 2009. He was 32 years old, while she was 19.
—Blueyedcole (@blueyedcole) February 24, 2021
It's widely believed that Mayer inspired Swift's 2010 breakup ballad "Dear John," which describes a toxic relationship with an older man.
"You paint me a blue sky / Then go back and turn it to rain / And I lived in your chess game / But you changed the rules every day," she 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?"
—Elsa’s Cool 2021 Tweets (@kegelwoman) February 24, 2021
He later told Rolling Stone that he felt "humiliated" by the song, which some people believe fed a sexist "crazy ex" narrative that unfairly vilified Swift.
—dick van yikes (@slightly_raven) February 24, 2021
—emamma mia here we go again (@evemmore) February 24, 2021
"Can we as a society yell at John Mayer to apologize to Jessica Simpson and Taylor Swift like we did with Justin Timberlake?" one person tweeted.
—auntie pho (@lizagna7) February 24, 2021
Others echoed the sentiment.
—Fiona Applebum says Block Shaun King 🍎 (@WrittenByHanna) February 24, 2021
—Rosé🌻💛🌻💛 (@NewRoRo_) February 24, 2021
A representative for Mayer did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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