Janet Jackson’s wardrobe mishap at the 2004 Super Bowl caused quite a stir. As per the sources and Malfunction, Justin Timberlake, with whom she was performing, planned the malfunction. However, what made it more interesting was that the entire episode turned into a documentary. The New York Times and FX special episode of Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janes Jackson examines the truth behind the incident and uncovers what happened.
Janet is releasing her own documentary, Janet Jackson. Though she tends to address the issue in the documentary and her performance, there are quite a few questions to which answers are necessary.
For instance, what exactly happened on the stage? Who is responsible for such an act?
Let us move into the particulars of the incident and try and understand why it is essential to be careful while presenting anything on TV.
What Exactly Happened?
Janet Jackson’s performance at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004 was a significant controversy. The singer was wearing a bustier top, and Timberlake tore a piece of the top that exposed her right breast to live TV for about a second before she quickly pulled down her top. The FCC fined CBS $550,000 for the incident, making it the commission’s most expensive fine ever levied.
The incident attracted widespread criticism within the country and abroad, with many commentators opining that the malfunction was a planned stunt. Along with a few commentators, Jackson herself argued that the stunt was being used to cause a distraction from the ongoing Iraq war. It also raised concerns about free speech and censorship about increased broadcasting regulations in the United States.
Jodi Games, Malfunction director, stated that the incident became an explosion, where Janet was in the middle of it all. She pioneered her image and was punished for it.
New Information About Malfunction
The documentary created by the group, which also filmed Framing Britney Spears, tried to uncover the truth by mixing old footage with new interviews. The premier of the documentary was on Hulu. The documentary does not involve both Janet and Timberlake. However, CBS and the NFL insiders came on to offer their reviews, thoughts, and opinions about the mishap.
MTV was conducting the event at halftime, and Salli Frattini, the executive in charge, stated that there was pressure from “inside” to fill the show with sex appeal. As per the plan, Justin would involve in an act where he tears Janet’s skirt to reveal the underneath jumpsuit. However, the plan got canceled at the last minute.
The plan, however, changed when Janet joined Justin in his duet song, “Rock Your Body.” Justin just tore Janet’s bodice to reveal her breast when he reached the lyric, “Gonna have you naked by the end of this song.” Janet was shocked, and the performance was cut with a commercial.
Janet was upset with the incident, and she just went away. Frattini said she could not get in touch with Janet or her manager after the incident. Salli quoted that Janet should have stayed and said that nobody knew about it and it was a mistake. Instead, she just left without saying anything. Frattini tried hard to reach her and ask what exactly happened to the person because it happened to her, and she was just gone.
Meanwhile, Les Moonves, CBS chief, demanded that both Janet and Justin apologize for the malfunction on air. Although Justin did apologize, Janet refused because she thought it was demanding for an incident that was an accident. Matt Serletic, Jackson’s CEO for Virgin Records, stated, “Something that did not need to be laid completely on her. And so, she did not apologize, and good for her.”
Is Janet Jackson’s Wardrobe Malfunction Really an Accident?
There are always controversies in such things, and Janet’s case is no different. As per sources, many suspect several individuals conspired for the action behind the scenes that made Justin tear off Janet’s bodice. As per Jackson’s stylist, Wayne Scot Lukas, who gave her the Super Bowl look, told Page Six that it was all pre-planned by Justin.
Lukas stated that Timberlake wanted to outdo Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Madonna, for they caused quite a stir in 2003 for kissing at the MTV Video Awards. He also stated that the outfit was supposed to be different than what Janet wore for her performance. She was supposed to be in a Rocha dress, and Justin was supposed to step on the dress to reveal Janet’s butt in a pearl G-string. However, the outfit changed a few days before the performance, and people saw what had happened.
Lukas Speaks About Janet’s Super Bowl Costume
Lukas came out to speak about the incident in January 2022. He stated that the Super Bowl outfit he designed for Janet was the most functioning one. He went on to say that the camera should have cut immediately as NBC did to Miley Cyrus when she dropped her top during her new year eve’s performance. “Janet had a wardrobe malfunction, and they kept the camera on her. But, unfortunately, they did not act immediately,” stated Lukas.
He further explained that two films are shot for the Super Bowl halftime show in case of an emergency. He stated that the five-second delay at the Super Bowl and NFL was a lie.
Who is Responsible?
Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction caused a lot of speculation and blame game. Malfunction, which took a hard look at the event and documented the same, never told who was responsible for the act. It is evident that there is no clear answer!
It is impossible to tell if the act was an accident or someone’s strategy.
How Did Janet Respond? Did She Comment?
Janet never spoke about the incident publicly, but she could make a statement. As she is releasing her documentary, Janet, which she co-produced with Randy Jackson, singer, and film producer, we can expect a comment about it in the documentary. Meanwhile, Justine apologized to Janet Jackson and Britney Spears, which he posted on his Instagram account.
Janet’s documentary is a two-part series and will be aired in January 2022 on A&E and Lifetime.