The halftime performer at tomorrow’s Super Bowl LII, Justin Timberlake, has confirmed that he will not be having pop icon Janet Jackson join him as a special guest for his headlining performance. This, despite his having left her hung out to dry 14 years ago, the last time the pair graced the stage at a Superbowl halftime show in 2004. For many this is nothing short of outrageous, as it was confirmed to TMZ several years ago by an NFL source that Ms. Jackson was indeed still blacklisted from performing at the Superbowl due to the controversial performance in 2004 – dubbed ‘Nipplegate’ by the media – in which Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s breast (pierced nipple and all) for the entire world to see. And yet only she was made to take the fall for the incident. Timberlake’s career on the other hand received not an ounce of backlash and he was invited back to perform as a headliner fourteen years later without a single reporter at the press conference he did in Minneapolis asking him about it. Cosmopolitan has a history of the immediate aftermath of the incident and how it affected both artists’ career trajectories. From Cosmopolitan:
What Happened to Justin Timberlake After Nipplegate?
- Timberlake told Access Hollywood, “We love giving you all something to talk about.”
- Timberlake performed, presented, and won at the 2004 Grammy Awards the following week. He apologized onstage for the incident saying, “What occurred was unintentional, completely regrettable and I apologize if you guys are offended.”
- Timberlake is credited with coining the term “wardrobe malfunction.”
- Justified sales skyrocketed in the week following the broadcast
- Timberlake went on to become one of the bestselling and most-beloved entertainers of the 21st century.
What Happened to Janet Jackson After Nipplegate?
- Jackson was blacklisted by MTV, CBS, and Infinity Broadcasting, and her new single was immediately pulled from stations worldwide. Her first album following Nipplegate, Damita Jo, is one of her worst-selling albums.
- Jackson was disinvited from the 2004 Grammy Awards. She was originally scheduled to appear as a presenter.
- Jackson was originally cast as Lena Horne in an upcoming biopic about the singer and activist but ABC reportedly forced her to quit.
- Disney World removed their Janet Jackson-inspired statue of Mickey Mouse.
- CBS forced Jackson to make both a written and video apology after Nipplegate.
To get a better understanding as to why more than a few people will be tuning out during Timberlake’s halftime performance tomorrow and why #JusticeForJanet is trending on Twitter, the following pieces are very informative, beginning with one of my own from 2016.
- Justin Timberlake Got His Ass Handed To Him Over ‘Nipplegate’ 12 Years Later
- Why Justin Timberlake Owes Janet Jackson a Super Bowl-sized Apology
- Super Bowl Flashback: The Forgotten Details of Janet Jackson’s ‘Nipplegate’
- ‘Nipplegate’ revisited: What really happened between Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake?
- Justin Timberlake, Back at the Super Bowl. What About Janet?
- Justin Timberlake threw Janet Jackson under the bus to launch his solo career
- Janet Jackson’s Family is Still Mad at Justin Timberlake
Here’s a glimpse of the amazing performer that the Super Bowl halftime will be missing out on. This is footage I caught with my own camera while attending the opening of the State of the World Tour on September 7, 2017.