Living American Pop Icon Janet Jackson, known as one of the world’s best-selling artist and overall performer is being thrust into headlines but not for a reason we’d expect. Who would’ve thought in 2021 we’d be discussing Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction known as the infamous “nipplegate” that happened during the 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Performance? In case you forgot the incident or were far removed from media during that time, here’s what happened in a nutshell: Janet Jackson and Justice Timberlake were performing Justin’s hit “Rock Your Body” when Justin sung the lyrics “I’ll have you naked by the end of this song” (or something like that). Justin then ripped away a piece of Janet’s outfit, exposing her breast to millions of viewers. Now, back when it happened, the word was that a piece of fabric was to cover the part of her breast that was exposed, yet it didn’t hence the “malfunction” issue. Anyhow, the incident sparked a mass media frenzy, with Janet Jackson enduring the brunt of negative backlash. In fact, Justin came out unscathed from the incident and reached greater heights in his career, while Janet Jackson’s career took a major hit, resulting in her being blackballed from CBS among other networks. This seemed unfair and sparked questions among some of whether sexism and racism played an enormous factor in why Janet faced such harsh repercussions and not Justin.
Now, years later, the incident is back in the spotlight through a documentary which is part of the series The New York Times Presents. The documentary called Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson, is directed and produced by The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty’s Jodi Gomes. It will give a deeper look into the incident and feature interviews from industry insiders, critics and more, and feature rare footage. The documentary will air on Friday, November 19th on FX and Hulu.
Hopefully, this documentary will offer redemption for Janet Jackson and allow her side of the story to be heard and clear the air for good.
Will you be watching?