Celebrity

Janet Jackson & Justin Timberlake’s Infamous Super Bowl Scandal Is Being Investigated

For a new documentary.
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It has been nearly 18 years since the infamous Super Bowl performance that saw Justin Timberlake rip off a part of Janet Jackson’s outfit and expose her breast.

The knock-on effect from that one act cannot be understated, with Janet’s career taking a huge plummet while Justin continued to thrive. 

Now, almost two decades later, an investigation into the event and aftermath has been launched.

WATCH: Janet Jackson returns to the stage for the first time in 4 years

The investigation is underway for a docuseries entitled Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson. It is part of The New York Times Presents series, which previously did a deep dive into Britney Spears’ conservatorship. 

According to a press release, the documentary is set to reconstruct the incident to “explain how it shaped culture in the decades to follow”.

“In 2004, a culture war was brewing when the Super Bowl halftime show audience saw a white man expose a Black woman’s breast for 9/16ths of a second,” the announcement said.

“A national furor ensued… The woman was Janet Jackson, and her career was never the same. The man was Justin Timberlake; his stardom only grew.”

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It was the Super Bowl performance that saw Justin Timberlake rip off a part of Janet Jackson’s outfit and expose her breast. (Credit: Getty)

If you are unaware of the incident in question; basically, In 2004, musicians Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performed at the coveted gig that is the Super Bowl halftime show.

During the performance, the pair sang JT’s smash hit Rock Your Body.

At the end of the number, as Justin sang the line, “I’ll have you naked by the end of this song”, he ripped a part of Janet’s top and exposed her nipple to the crowd and the viewers at home.

Believe us when we say that you have never seen a camera pan so fast.

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After the performance, Janet’s career took a dive while Justin’s only grew. (Credit: Getty)

The incident was later classed as a wardrobe malfunction, but no amount of PR was enough to withhold the swarm of backlash the singers received. No, sorry, that Janet received. Justin barely got a slap on the wrist and he went on to headline his own Super Bowl halftime show in 2017.

Meanwhile, Janet was forced to release a written statement and a video apology; she was not allowed to attend the Grammy awards the following month – bearing in mind that not only was Justin allowed to attend, he was asked to perform there.

She was also blacklisted from multiple radio stations which made it impossible to promote her music, causing her eighth Studio album Damita Jo to be one of her worst selling albums.

Earlier this year, Justin took to Instagram to speak out about his part in both the Super Bowl scandal, as well as his relationship with Britney Spears, saying he was sorry for the times he had “contributed to the problem”.

“Where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right,” he added.

“I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others benefitted from a system that condones misogyny and racism.”

He went on to specifically mention Janet and Britney, emphasising that he respects these women as individuals, before going on to cite the flawed music industry.

“It sets men, especially white men, up for success,” he wrote.

Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson is coming to FX on Hulu on November 19th. There’s no news yet as to how to watch in Australia, but we’ll keep you updated.

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