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During my live-blogging of the Super Bowl, I mentioned the Janet Jackson-Justin Timberlake strip show that occurred at the end of the halftime show. Apparently, I was mistaken in my initial viewing of the scene, as the NFL, CBS, and MTV have apologized for an unplanned "wardrobe malfunction":
CBS apologized on Sunday for an unexpectedly R-rated end to its Super Bowl halftime show, when singer Justin Timberlake tore off part of Janet Jackson's top, exposing her breast. ... The two singers were performing a flirtatious duet to end the halftime show, and at the song's finish, Timberlake reached across Jackson's leather gladiator outfit and pulled off the covering to her right breast.
The network quickly cut away from the shot, and did not mention the incident on the air.
But there was a sticker over the nipple, as I said during my live blog, and now that I've replayed it on my TiVo, it doesn't appear to be accidental, either. Timberlake definitely reached across and grabbed her costume intentionally -- you can see the fingers flex into more of a fist, and his arm tenses up as he pulls his hand back towards him. Jackson doesn't react very quickly to the liberation of half her rack, either, although if you were being charitable, you could interpret that as shock. TJ Simers says in today's LA Times:
MTV issues a statement: "The tearing of Jackson's costume was unrehearsed, unplanned, completely unintentional," and knowing how weird some of the Jacksons can be, maybe she does wear silver stars strategically placed wherever she goes.
Shock, by the way, which would be shared with the entire viewing audience, although in my house it barely registered except as a crowning example of why the Super Bowl should concentrate on football and skip the ridiculous halftime show. (Watching Nelly continually grab his penis was another good example, and I note that hardly anyone even bothered to comment about that.) It registered with a lot of other people, though, because CBS was flooded with complaints, according to the story. The NFL says that MTV will not be producing any more Super Bowl entertainment, and MTV claims it had no knowledge of it.
Power Line, however, agrees with me that the moment was far from unintentional. (Hindrocket posts a picture of the event, if you'd like to see Janet imitating LaToya.) Hugh Hewitt, returning from Minnesota, notes:
Looks like the blowback from the tackiest Superbowl ever is pretty intense. Good. MTV and the NFL have as much in common as Howard Dean and FDR. Whaddaya think Paul Brown would think about the half-time show? Halas? Lombardi? Here's a suggestion: Hall of Famers pick the music talent next year, not 25 year olds with chin hair and NYU degrees. Tony Bennett, anyone? A great game interrupted by idiots.
On the other hand, with commercials dominated by Levitra and Cialis, this may be the perfect capper to the Erectile Dysfunction Bowl. I mean, if Janet Jackson's exposed breast doesn't turn you on, the commercials might say, you should give us a try. If you think that the Great Booby Affair lacks subtlety, then you obviously didn't sit through endless shots of footballs going through tire swings in an attempt to sell dinghy delights. All that was missing was the stock footage of rockets launching and trains going through tunnels.
UPDATE: The FCC was none too amused by the breast-baring spectacle, either:
The chief federal regulator of broadcasting said Monday he is outraged by the Super Bowl halftime show which wound up with singer Justin Timberlake tearing off part of Janet Jackson's costume, exposing her breast. Timberlake blamed a "wardrobe malfunction," but Federal Communications Commission chief Michael Powell called it "a classless, crass and deplorable stunt." ...
The two singers were performing a flirtatious duet to end the halftime show, with Timberlake singing, "Rock Your Body," and the lines he sang at the moment of truth were: "I'm gonna have you naked by the end of this song." With that, Timberlake reached across Jackson's leather gladiator outfit and pulled off the covering to her right breast, which was partially obscured by a sun-shaped, metal nipple decoration.
A local radio station, KQRS, reported on its morning-drive show that CBS had admitted to planning the stunt with Timberlake and Jackson. They claimed a wire report as their source, but I haven't seen anything about that at all. My guess is that if CBS 'fessed up to deliberately creating this stunt, it will be the last Super Bowl they see for a long, long time.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Captain's Quarters: Super Boob Halftime Show: A Mistake? "On the other hand, with commercials dominated by Levitra and Cialis, this may be the perfect capper to the Erectile Dysfunction Bowl. I mean, if Janet Jackson's exposed breast doesn't turn you... [Read More]
Tracked on February 3, 2004 11:01 PM
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