In 2004, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson performed together during the Super Bowl XXXVIII. At the end of their performance, they had planned for Timberlake to remove part of Jackson’s costume. Unfortunately things went awry and he ripped of her bodice, revealing her right breast.
This occurred at the end of the song, with Timberlake singing the lyrics, “I’m gonna have you naked by the end of this song.” Both Jackson and Timberlake issued an apology at the time at the incident, with Timberlake saying that it was “not intentional and regrettable.”
“Nipplegate,” was born from this incident. Jackson was caught in a frenzy of scandals. One included a fine levied against CBS by the Federal Communication Commission for a total of $550,000. The fine was dismissed in 2012 but the criticism followed Jackson.
On the other hand, Timberlake was never held accountable for what happened and did not apologize to Jackson. He did however face criticism because many believed he didn’t do enough to support and defend Jackson.
On Sunday, it was announced that Timberlake would be appearing on the Super Bowl stage yet again. This renewed the calls for him to apologize to Jackson for the incident 14 years prior in the form of a hashtag campaign #JusticeforJanet.
In 2017. It sends the wrong message that JT has been giving the opportunity to headline the SB while Janet is still banned. #JusticeForJanet
— Quranne (@stevepal21) October 23, 2017
— JesseLJ (@__JesseJ) September 27, 2017
Timberlake’s silence has come back to haunt him. His indifference has become a talking point and a big reason for the #JusticeforJanet campaign.
— JDegarson (@johndegarson) October 23, 2017
Others took a more lighthearted stance in their tweets:
— Janet's Whisper (@Btchnotme) October 23, 2017
The NFL has put out a statement trying to defend their decision saying there was no ban on Jackson appearing someday. In a statement to EW, an NFL spokesperson said, ““We are not going to comment on any speculation regarding potential guests. There may be no guests.”
They followed up their statement saying “Along with Pepsi, we’re excited to have Justin Timberlake. Like the elite NFL players who can run, catch, and block, Justin can do it all — sing, dance, act, and entertain. He’s the ultimate global superstar who we know will put on an entertaining and unifying show that will appeal to the massive worldwide audience.”
Regardless of what the NFL has stated, the public is still waiting for Timberlake’s response.