This will make me sound very old, but I always associate the Justin Timberlake-Janet Jackson Super Bowl scandal with the Iraq War. It happened about… what? Nine or ten months after America and the “Coalition of the Willing” invaded Iraq, and the war was quickly descending into a gigantic clusterf–k. Even back then, I was one person among many who believed that Fox News in particular used the JT-Janet Super Bowl scandal as a “bread and circuses” controversy to distract from the Iraq War mission creep and escalating clusterf–k. It seems almost f–king quaint to look back on it now and realize that for weeks on end, we were being force-fed all of these news segments about what happened and who was to blame and what kind of penalties there should be… and yes, I’m talking about Janet and JT, not the fact that there were no WMDs.
In the 14 years that followed, Janet Jackson has still had a career, but her career has never really been the same. She got thrown under the bus by everybody, including Justin. Justin flashed a simpering smile, threw out a rehearsed line about a “wardrobe malfunction” and his career went on. Hell, the controversy made him even more famous and popular. And in the past 14 years, he’s barely said one word about Janet. Because he’s rarely even been asked. Now that Justin is returning as this year’s Super Bowl Half-Time performer, he’s finally getting some questions. And his answers are no bueno.
Whether the 2004 performance was brought up when he signed on for this year’s Half-Time show: “Naturally, that’s something we talked about. To be honest, it wasn’t too much of a conversation. It’s just one of those things where you go like, ‘Yeah what do you want me to say? We’re not going to do that again.’”
How he responded to the wardrobe malfunction in real time: “Yeah and I stumbled through it, to be quite honest. I had my wires crossed, and it’s just something that you have to look back on and go, like, OK, well you know, you can’t change what’s happened but you can move forward and learn from it.”
Whether he was able to “resolve the situation” with Janet: “Absolutely…And I don’t know that a lot of people know that. I don’t think it’s my job to do that because you value the relationships that you do have with people.”
“I had my wires crossed” – that’s as close as he’ll come to taking responsibility for what happened, and look what happens in the next breath – he absolves himself by characterizing it as a learning experience. Yeah, Janet Jackson lost millions of dollars in potential revenue, touring, album sales but at least Justin learned a lesson, so it’s cool. I’m also SMH at “I don’t think it’s my job” to let people know that he and Janet resolved their sh-t. Ugh.
Photos courtesy of WENN.