When Justin Timberlake takes the stage at Tremendous Bowl LII for the halftime present Sunday at US Financial institution Stadium in Minneapolis, there’s at the least one well-known title who thinks he must make reparations.
“If he’s such a gentleman, he’d make sure that Janet [Jackson] is there,” Joseph Jackson instructed The Submit.
The singer’s father will not be the one one who thinks that Timberlake ought to make amends for Nipplegate — the notorious 2004 Tremendous Bowl scandal that bruised Jackson’s profession and her ego, after a deliberate stunt changed into a fancy dress malfunction, leaving her naked breast uncovered to 140 million viewers.
Because it was introduced that Timberlake can be acting at this yr’s massive sport, Twitter has been alight with the #JusticeForJanet hashtag, as customers name out the privilege prompt by Timberlake being requested to carry out once more, whereas Jackson was not.
Timberlake has stayed mum about together with Jackson in his halftime present, though he just lately instructed Beats 1 host Zane Lowe that the 2 had “completely” made peace.
However Jackson household insiders say that simply because the singer has forgiven Timberlake for not standing up for her when she was vilified for the incident, she hasn’t forgotten.
“Justin’s solo profession took off after that and Janet was blackballed,” one member of the family stated. “He says they’re good, however let’s see him show it and convey her out.”
‘Justin’s solo profession took off after that and Janet was blackballed’
So what actually occurred in 2004 at Reliant Stadium (now NRG Stadium) in Houston? Conspiracy theories abound that the wardrobe “malfunction” was secretly deliberate by Jackson and Timberlake, however Jackson sources say that’s not the case.
They admit, nevertheless, that there was nice thriller within the run-up to that halftime present.
“When a few of us went to Houston, we have been instructed they have been doing rehearsals,” stated a relative. “Individuals from the NFL and MTV have been there so [we] thought we might get a preview of the efficiency.”
As a substitute, safety suggested that last rehearsals have been closed to everybody.
“We had heard that they have been experimenting on some type of elaborate manufacturing,” the relative added.
It’s simple to overlook that Jackson and Timberlake weren’t the one acts that evening. Produced by MTV — who had beforehand organized the 2001 halftime occasion — the present first featured performances by Jessica Simpson, Diddy, Nelly and Child Rock. Jackson took the stage with a marching band for her 1989 hit “Rhythm Nation,” then was joined by Timberlake for his “Rock Your Physique.”
The 2 had an attractive, playful chemistry and had beforehand been rumored to have been hooking up. Jackson was within the early throes of a romance with producer Jermaine Dupri, however “everybody — together with [her mother] Katherine knew the chemistry was there,” a Jackson insider stated.
You could possibly virtually really feel the warmth as the 2 gyrated in opposition to one another onstage. On the finish of the quantity, whereas singing “I’m gonna have you ever bare by the tip of this tune,” Timberlake reached throughout Jackson’s chest, grabbing her proper breast and ripping off a part of her high — exposing her naked breast, the nipple fully lined by a big silver solar hooked up by a piercing.
Trying again at video of the incident, it’s onerous to make out Jackson’s expression instantly after, as her face was largely obscured by her hair, however she shortly lined herself along with her hand. In images from the occasion, Timberlake appears shell-shocked.
Jackson later defined to her mom that the cups of her high had been hooked up with a Velcro-like material that might simply be manipulated or opened to disclose a purple lace bra beneath, in keeping with the household supply.
The supply confirmed that Jackson and Timberlake had hatched a plan for him to tear off the highest’s cup, however didn’t alert MTV, CBS, the NFL and even their backup dancers.
“They have been like, let’s make this actual and present the which means behind [the song],” the Jackson insider stated.
“Her purple bra was all that was supposed to point out, no nipple, no publicity,” the insider stated. “It was meant to be a little bit racy, however no one meant for her breast to point out. It turned an enormous deal as a result of Justin grabbed the costume a lot too onerous and, as an alternative of pulling the one small half, he tore the bra half, too.” (Representatives for Timberlake didn’t return requires remark.)
Behind the scenes, there was confusion, as MTV government producer Salli Frattini, recalled to ESPN The Journal in 2014: “There was plenty of chaos within the [production truck, and we played it back and we were like, ‘Oh, s – – t. What just happened?’ ”
At first, Jackson — who flew out of Houston that night — had no idea just how big the fallout would be. “At that point, she was just a little upset — a little troubled that her breast was seen in front of the biggest audience in history,” the family member recalled.
But when she exited the stage, no one — including reps from AOL and the NFL, as well as Nelly — would look at her.
“No one said anything when she left the stage,” the family member added. “It was like, ‘Uh-oh, we’ve got trouble.’”
Before the game was over and the Patriots had beaten the Panthers, 32-29, Jackson’s representative had issued the first statement, explaining that Timberlake was supposed to have pulled off the bustier cup only, not the bra itself.
The NFL responded quickly to the incident, making clear it was “disappointed.” The league’s then executive vice president, Joe Browne, said “it’s unlikely that MTV will produce another Super Bowl halftime.” (Indeed, the network has not.)
MTV released a statement claiming that “the tearing of Janet Jackson’s costume was unrehearsed, unplanned, completely unintentional and was inconsistent with assurances we had about the content of the performance.” The network’s then CEO, Tom Freston, alleged that Jackson alone had “engineered” the stunt.
Over the next week, some 200,000 viewers reportedly complained to the FCC, which later fined CBS $550,000; the decision was tied up in the court system for eight years before finally being tossed out in favor of CBS.
AOL, which had sponsored the halftime event, asked for a refund on its $10 million investment. Advertiser McDonald’s called the incident “inappropriate” — but did not drop Timberlake as its “I’m lovin’ it” spokesman.
At first, Timberlake was flippant about Nipplegate, telling Access Hollywood that, “We love giving you all something to talk about.” But he changed his tune shortly after that, saying, “I’m sorry if anyone was offended.”
Jackson meanwhile, issued both written and taped statements, absolving MTV, CBS and the NFL and saying, “It was not my intention that it go as far as it did.”
But the damage was already done.
The weekend after the Super Bowl, Timberlake and Jackson had been scheduled to appear at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards on CBS, where both were slated to perform. Timberlake’s performance happened. Jackson, who was supposed to lead a tribute to Luther Vandross, was allegedly uninvited.
Her punishment didn’t end there.
When Jackson’s “Damita Jo” album came out two months after the 2004 Super Bowl, she was facing a mountain of obstacles. As Rolling Stone reported, Viacom — the parent company then of both CBS and MTV — [hit] again . . . by basically blacklisting her, protecting her music movies off their properties MTV, VH1 and radio stations below their umbrella. The blacklist [spread] to incorporate non-Viacom media entities as nicely.”
Jackson instructed kin that she was embarrassed and feared she’d by no means carry out once more.
“Radio stations wouldn’t play her music. Her album, which was nice, suffered,” the member of the family recalled. Billboard reported that “Damita Jo” was her worst-selling album over a 20-year span, regardless of receiving largely favorable evaluations.
So devastating was the backlash, Jackson stopped attending household gatherings and shut out these closest to her. “She’d drive by [the family’s Encino estate] in her shiny yellow Jeep. We’d see her however she’d maintain going,” a second relative stated. “It was like she didn’t know what to do.”
Family members and buddies, together with filmmaker Tyler Perry, turned involved about Jackson’s well being.
‘MTV should be ashamed, my household helped construct MTV . . . and that is the thanks we get.’
– Jermaine Jackson
“She’s going into despair, she’s not herself,” her brother Jermaine stated on the time. “Justin wants to carry a press convention and condemn CBS, MTV and everybody else for what they’re doing to Janet. MTV should be ashamed, my household helped construct MTV . . . and that is the thanks we get.”
It took two years earlier than Timberlake would inform MTV Information: “In the event you contemplate it 50-50, then I in all probability received 10 % of the blame. I believe America is harsher on ladies. I believe America is unfairly harsh on ethnic folks.”
Not lengthy after that, Jackson admitted to Oprah Winfrey that whereas Timberlake had reached out to her, she wasn’t able to reply.
“Friendship is essential to me, and sure belongings you simply don’t do to buddies,” she stated. “In my very own time, I’ll give him a name.”
When Winfrey requested if Timberlake had “left [her] on the market hanging,” Jackson replied, “To a sure diploma.” She added that every one the blame had been placed on “me, versus us.”
To at the present time, Jackson’s Waterloo has formed the tradition in surprising methods.
Because of the incident, the FCC instituted a five-second tape delay on Tremendous Bowl performances, permitting censors time to catch offensive materials.
Coincidentally or not, no ladies appeared once more on the halftime present till 2011 when the Black Eyed Peas — together with Fergie — took the stage.
Most remarkably, we’ve Nipplegate to thank for YouTube. Co-founder Jawed Karim instructed USA Right this moment that he was impressed to create the video web site in 2005 after not with the ability to discover any footage of the incident on-line.
Some who condemned Jackson have lastly admitted it was an excessive amount of.
In 2014, former FCC chairman Michael Powell instructed ESPN the Journal that the committee had acted “unfairly” towards the singer. “All of it changed into being about her,” Powell stated. “In actuality, in case you sluggish the factor down, it’s Justin ripping off her breastplate.”
As for Timberlake, he just lately stated that he “stumbled by” his dealing with of the scenario. Jackson household insiders reveal he needed to ask a number of occasions earlier than Jackson lastly agreed to quietly meet up with him a number of years in the past in Los Angeles. After speaking for some time, the 2 patched up their variations and sealed their friendship with a kiss and an extended embrace.
That stated, nevertheless, the Jackson insider defined that, “Publicly, Janet will inform everybody she’s forgiven Justin, however privately, she’s reluctant to belief him. He’s reached out to her about doing a little issues collectively however I don’t assume she’s prepared for that. Is she nonetheless offended? No. She doesn’t want him any unwell will. Does she nonetheless give it some thought? Not the entire time, however actually since he’s doing the halftime present once more, it’s positively been a dinner desk matter.”
The insider stated that greater than something, Jackson is disenchanted. “[Timberlake] used to dig her however when it got here to supporting her after what occurred, he disappeared. That’s not too manly and he or she didn’t deserve that. Even when she’s chosen to forgive him, it doesn’t imply she’s gotten previous how he didn’t man up.
“We imagine [the Super Bowl is a chance for him to] present her . . . and the world that he was fallacious. He ought to insist that she come out and do one thing even when it’s simply him apologizing publicly in entrance of the entire stadium. It’s not too late.”