Janet Jackson is speaking out after a documentary’s release that touched on hers and Justin Timberlake‘s 2004 Super Bowl moment.
Jackson’s post was about “appreciating” and “uplifting” people after the overwhelming reaction to the New York Times’ recent documentary, Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson.
Jackson wrote: “Not sure if you got the memo. But we’re not competing anymore, we’re appreciating and uplifting each other instead.”
The documentary, which aired on Nov. 19, reveals how Jackson’s career became severely damaged after her performance at the Super Bowl in February 2004, where she was joined on stage by Timberlake.
During the halftime show, Timberlake ripped away part of Jackson’s costume during their performance and exposed her breast. And since that event, Jackson took the heat of that event ever since.
Immediately afterward the incident, as the documentary notes, Timberlake joked about the situation. He informed interviewers, “I love giving y’all something to talk about” and “It’s every man’s dream,” in reference to the performance. While Jackson, who couldn’t be found after the incident transpired, reportedly cried as the stage manager put a blanket around her.
Right after the Super Bowl aired, both Timberlake and Jackson issued apologies, after the FCC reportedly received over 500,000 complaints about the broadcast.
On Feb. 1, Timberlake made a statement to MTV News sharing: “I am sorry if anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance at the Super Bowl. It was not intentional and is regrettable.”
Jackson said, in her own video statement, “The decision to have a costume reveal at the end of my halftime show performance was made after final rehearsals. MTV was completely unaware of it. It was not my intention that it go as far as it did. I apologize to anyone offended — including the audience, MTV, CBS and the NFL.”
But in 2018, Jackson said she regretted making that apology, and admitted she asked her management what she was actually apologizing for prior to filming it.
“It was an accident,” she told Oprah. “The management I had at the time, they thought it was important that I did.”
Cut to Feb. 8, 2004, the 46th Annual Grammy Awards. CBS requested that Timberlake and Jackson — who were both set to appear — make formal apologies during the show in order to attend.
And while Timberlake apologized, Janet refused. This led her to not be present at the rewards, and later, kicked off a Luther Vandross tribute. To make matters worse, Jackson’s songs and videos released after the Super Bowl received significantly lower airplay on radio stations than usual.
While Timberlake’s brand deal with McDonald’s, for which he was reportedly paid $6 million, didn’t budge despite the controversy. In addition, he was also was asked back to perform at halftime of the Super Bowl in 2018.
This past weekend many took to Twitter to back their support for Jeanet — with the hashtag #JusticeForJanet trending shortly after the documentary’s release.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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