Following the release of Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson, a new chronicled about the aftermath of Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake‘s notorious 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show performance, the “Rhythm Nation” singer herself has apparently weighed in on the heated discussion herself.
The 55-year-old singer took to social media on November 21, 2021, to share a cryptic quote just days after the new official documents about her career premiered on Hulu.
“Not sure if you got the memo,”
the quote began.
“But we’re not competing anymore, we’re appreciating and uplifting each other instead.”
While Janet didn’t mention the documentary outright, fans swiftly noticed that one of its subjects—Justin himself—replied to the post with a like.
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Erstwhile NSYNC member has been at the center of re-established heated discussion sequel to the documentary’s release for the way he reacted to his infamous Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show performance with Janet. As one viewer wrote,
“[Justin Timberlake’s] behavior is disgusting. The lack of empathy, disrespectful behavior and #misogyny is appalling.”
For those who don’t know, in 2004, Janet and Justin were chosen by the NFL and MTV to entertain at the Super Bowl Halftime Show jointly. Justin was the surprise guest after Janet performed a medley of her hit songs. Everything was going well until Justin’s performance of “Rock Your Body,” when the singer strove a last-minute costume trick and inadvertently open Janet’s right breast to over 140 million viewers. That little while sent ripples through the media, with many blaming the accident on Janet.
At the same time , CBS mandated the Jackson sister to publicly express regret for the incident. Janet released a video statement as a result, telling audiences,
“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. MTV, CBS, [and] the NFL had no knowledge of this whatsoever and unfortunately, the whole thing went wrong in the end. I apologize to anyone offended, including the audience, MTV, CBS and the NFL.”
Years later, Janet told Oprah Winfrey that she felt sad over her apology.
“It was an accident. The management I had at the time, they thought it was vital that I did,” she said in 2018.
At the same time, Justin talked humorously about the incident at first, telling reporters instantly supporters and admirers of the show,
“I love giving y’all something to talk about”
before suggesting that Janet’s wardrobe malfunction was “every man’s dream.” He later offered a brief apology in a statement to MTV News:
“I am sorry that anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance of the Super Bowl. It was not deliberate and is regrettable.”
Years later, Justin eventually issued a public apology to Janet meanwhile fleetingly mentioning her in a statement about fellow pop star Britney Spears.
“I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right,”
Justin shared on Instagram in response to the many
“messages, tags, comments, and concerns,”
he received sequel to the release of another Hulu documentary, Framing Britney Spears.
“I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism. I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.”
The “Cry Me a River” singer went on to note how his prerogative as a white man benefitedat the same time Janet and Britney’s careers.
“The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. It’s designed this way,” he wrote.
“As a man in a privileged position I have to be vocal about this. Because of my ignorance, I didn’t recognize it for all that it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again.”
Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson is available to stream on Hulu.