It’s shocking to think a whole ten years have passed since Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake‘s ‘Super Bowl ’04′ showing changed the face of the music industry forever.
Even more surprising, though, is the fact that the split-second that came to be known as “nipplegate” would alter the course of Jackson’s otherwise iconic career, while bizarrely (and unfairly) enhancing Timberlake’s.
Indeed, while industry big wigs ensured the ‘Suit & Tie’ crooner star soared to dizzying heights, it was the Queen of Pop who was left to bear the brunt of the backlash, one that carried very real ramifications – both personally and commercially.
Beyond being branded all but a Jezebel by the media, the singer was blamed by many as the sole cause of the $550,000 fine the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) handed to Super Bowl broadcaster CBS – figure that was a record at the time.
The FCC then increased the fine per indecency violation from $27,500 to $325,000 shortly after the event.
Adding salt to the controversial wound, the NFL announced that MTV (who produced the showing) would never be involved in another halftime show again.
However, in a major development ten years later, Michael Powell - who served as the FCC chairman at the time of the performance – admits that both his reaction and that of the masses were completely overblown.
In a must-read interview with ESPN, Powell denounces his own claims that the wardrobe malfunction represented “a new low for prime-time TV”.