Do you believe the excuse? Here you thought the Madonna/Britney Spears liplock was the ultimate in crass publicity stunts. You’ve probably not seen anything yet — now someone has to top this!
Here’s the story as it appeared in the 1 February 2004 issue of the weird news commentary column This is True® (basic subscriptions are free — see the sidebar):
The Other Wacko Jacko
MTV, which produced the Janet Jackson halftime show for Super Bowl 38, promised a “shocking surprise”. Fans got it at the end of her duet with Justin Timberlake (sample lyric: “Gonna have you naked by the end of this song”) when he grabbed the front of her costume and yanked the cover off her right breast, which flopped into the clear view of the worldwide audience. Timberlake called the incident a “wardrobe malfunction” that was “not intentional”. (Houston Chronicle, AP) …After days of rehearsal, that’s the best excuse they could think up?
Let’s Review the Facts
This occurred at the Superbowl on 1 February 2004 (so yes, the story was in the same day issue of This is True).
Jackson issued a statement to claim the incident was accidental and unintended, explaining that Timberlake was only meant to pull away a bustier and leave the red-lace bra intact (Source: CNN the next day). “I am really sorry if I offended anyone. That was truly not my intention … MTV, CBS, the NFL had no knowledge of this whatsoever, and unfortunately, the whole thing went wrong in the end.” Timberlake also issued an apology, calling the accident a “wardrobe malfunction.”
The week before, MTV promised, “Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl show promises shocking moments.”
So let’s take a look at the evidence. (Shocking, sure, but it’s nothing you can’t see on national network TV, right?)
The Red Herring
Janet explained that her red bra was supposed to remain after Justin pulled off the leather cover? I have a few problems with that: 1) They’d be idiots not to ensure that it worked that way (but then, they are idiots); 2) If he tore her bra, why aren’t shards of cloth visible in the close-up above? And 3) Maybe it’s because there is no red bra!? Here’s the proof: look at the leather cover — you’re seeing the inside (and note the snaps!). Pay particular attention that the red fringe is not a bra cup, but a sewn-on fringe just along the top edge of the cover:
Hard to see? Let’s zoom in on what it is he pulled off:
To state explicitly for the record, I definitely believe it was intentional, unlike some who “just can’t believe it.” Believe it! Take a look at the zoomed sequence. As you can clearly see, Justin grabs the cover and yanks it off, and is still holding it as Janet “realizes” what happened. In the closeup below, you can see that the bra cup of Janet’s “gladiator” outfit is attached with snaps for easy release:
So Get Real: does this truly look like a “wardrobe malfunction” to you? Or is it indeed a crass publicity stunt? The evidence is staring you right in the eye.
The Bottom Line: So what?! The world comes screeching to a halt because of a one-second peek-a-boob? Yeah, Janet is an idiot, trying to grab the spotlight to hype a new album. But a federal investigation? Yet something else for the world to snicker over. Clue for Washington: there are far more compelling things that need to be investigated.
The American media uses sex to sell everything, but god forbid that at the end of a bump and grind routine we catch a glimpse of a titbit — which people in pretty much all of what we consider the “civilized” countries can see on regular broadcast TV during the same hour. Have those civilians gone nuts? Nope, we have; they simply yawn.
The media censorship community falls to the floor sobbing when a mammary gland sees the light of day — though it’s fine if someone wearing a hockey mask comes up and lops it off with a chainsaw. When faced with a choice between sex and violence (remember, oh out-of-touch politicians, that sex is a desired part of healthy life, while violence is an aberant horror that we actively try to avoid), I’ll take the sex any day. And so will most everyone else. Yet a flash of Janet’s sagging charms isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, sex. Grow up, Washington! And grow up, America.
See Our Amusing Collection of Janet Jackson Wardrobe Malfunction Parodies.
Want More Fun-but-true Stories?
Parodies and Take-offs inspired by Janet and Justin’s stunt: Click Here.