More than a decade after his infamous performance with Janet Jackson, Timberlake will return to the N.F.L. stage and This is not sitting well at all with Jackson fans
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) October 23, 2017
Justin Timberlake would be the halftime entertainment at this season’s Super Bowl the NFL confirmed Sunday that As you all know, Timberlake performed at the game in 2004 and famously ripped off part of Janet Jackson’s shirt to expose her right breast just while singing the line, “Gonna get you naked by the end of this song,” from Rock Your Body. It will be Timberlake’s third time on the halftime show stage, “giving him the distinction of having the most appearances by an individual entertainer,” the NFL wrote.
The moment instantly sparked a national outcry, with Jackson receiving a disproportionate amount of the backlash. It’s become the most infamous “wardrobe malfunction” in TV history, as well as the incident that popularized that euphemism; half a million people logged complaints to the Federal Communications Commission in response, and Viacom, furious that MTV would no longer be entrusted with future lucrative Halftime shows, immediately blacklisted Jackson’s music from its channels and radio stations. Though she publicly apologized, she was also blacklisted on other stations.
“I personally thought that was really unfair,” Michael Powell, the former head of the FCC, told ESPN in 2014 of the heavy criticism Jackson received post-Nipplegate. “It all turned into being about her. In reality, if you slow the thing down, it’s Justin ripping off her breastplate.” Timberlake himself told MTV in 2006: “I probably got 10 percent of the blame, and that says something about society. I think that America’s harsher on women. And I think that America is, you know, unfairly harsh on ethnic people.”
The booking has already drawn sharp criticism on social media for people say is a double-standard, asking why Timberlake has been celebrated while Jackson remains blacklisted.