Broadcast on this very day in 2004, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake closed – what was otherwise an epic Super Bowl showing – with a five second incident that literally changed the face of television forever. Not only television, but the career of the show’s leading lady.
While Timberlake arose from the media ashes unscathed and enjoying even higher successes some ten years later, the misadventure led Jackson, a pop icon whose catalog and stage presence combined have arguably yet been matched, down a road to blacklist of almost unrecoverable heights.
By now, you know the story of “Nipple-gate,” as it was affectionately coined, in its totality. So, instead of focusing on the enormity of its backlash – a backlash, mind you, that’s still seeing its repercussion directly or indirectly impacting decisions made today regarding live television – let’s focus on words from the horses’ mouths.
As we prepare for Katy Perry‘s sure-to-be-epic Super Bowl showing, let’s rewind to 2004 to hear Janet and Justin’s thoughts on “Nipple-gate” and the event that birthed the phrase “wardrobe malfunction”: