Janet Jackson hasn’t been invited back to perform at the Super Bowl, but it looks like Justin Timberlake has.
According to US Magazine, the former NSYNC member is in the final stages of inking a deal to perform at Super Bowl XXXVIII, 13 years after he and Jackson’s controversial performance.
The day was February 1, 2004 when Jackson took the stage at the MTV produced-halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII, where she performed songs like “All for You,” “Rhythm Nation” and “The Knowledge.”
From there, although he wasn’t announced as a guest, Timberlake joined her, and they both sung his 2003 cut “Rock Your Body.” Then, after the lines “I’m gonna have you naked by the end of this song,” he ripped off a piece of Jackson’s top, exposing just her breast and a dangling nipple ring.
To say that a media storm came down on the “Control” singer afterward would be an understatement. Some might say she received more of a media lynching and according to Rolling Stone, a whopping 200,000 viewers of the game contacted the Federal Communications Commission to complain about Jackson and her performance.
There was also a bevy of conservative watchdog groups and political pundits who talked harshly about Janet, not really Timberlake.
Additionally, the FCC Chairman Michael Powell stated Jackson’s top coming off was a “classless, crass and deplorable stunt” and said he was on a mission to change things going forward. Eventually, the government agency placed a slight delay on live broadcasts, which still holds today. The NFL also blasted the performance at the time.
More news on Janet and Timberlake
In the days following the incident, the press branded it as “Nipplegate” and more than likely, it was the first time that many of us heard the term “wardrobe malfunction,” an excuse that Timberlake gave when he was asked about the show.
Then, at least the way it appeared, Jackson’s career suffered a great deal, while Timberlake’s went on unscathed. In fact, since MTV produced the halftime show and was banned from producing others for the NFL, its parent company Viacom removed Jackson’s videos from MTV, its sister channel VH1 and didn’t play her music on its radio stations.
Many also accused the “Cry Me a River” crooner of using Jackson as a bulletproof vest and allowing her to take the hits from the media, conservative groups and those angered by seeing a Black woman’s areola for what seemed to be a nanosecond.
Not to mention, there were huge cries of racism from folks, since Jackson was ostracized by many and Timberlake wasn’t. Undoubtedly, those feelings have only seemed to intensify when rumors of the pop singer playing at 2018’s Super Bowl surfaced.
“Rumor is that Justin Timberlake will perform at the Super Bowl halftime show,” one person tweeted in August. “Where’s the @NFL apology to Janet Jackson? Why him and not her?”
“Justin Timberlake tore Janet Jackson’s top off in the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show, but the NFL blacklisted her from performing again,” tweeted someone else, and those kinds of messages continued.
So far there hasn’t been any word from Timberlake about performing at the 2018 Super Bowl, but if he does many will probably be waiting to see if he even brings up the so-called “Nipplegate” incident.
Plus, it’ll be interesting to see if he gives Jackson the real apology that many say she deserves. In the meantime, you can see some of the tweets surrounding Jackson, Timberlake and the halftime show below.
Justin Timberlake is welcomed back with open arms by the NFL to perform the SuperBowl but Janet Jackson was blackballed pic.twitter.com/JzbEMHsKwz
— Stephanie. (@qsteph) September 27, 2017
Justin Timberlake can perform at the Super Bowl but Janet Jackson is still blacklisted. Talk about white privilege…..
— Ᏸecca💅🏿 (@MJStarLover) September 27, 2017
Inviting Justin Timberlake back to the #SuperBowl stage would be an insult to Janet Jackson who got banned after JT exposed her nipple. RT
— Benny From The Block (@BlockBenny) September 27, 2017
If Justin Timberlake does Super Bowl halftime, Janet Jackson should get to come out & rip the ass of his pants off.
— Caissie St.Onge (@Caissie) September 27, 2017
Remember Justin Timberlake had the audacity to accept an award named after Michael Jackson knowing what he had done to Janet..
— Shady McGrady (@downtheline18) September 27, 2017
Never forget Justin Timberlake was the 1 who revealed Janet Jackson’s nipple during Super Bowl halftime show & then threw her under the bus
— Imaeyen Ibanga (@iiwrites) September 27, 2017