Janet Jackson on the Super Bowl incident: things have changed since then for the better

Janet Jackson’s Control (her third album) was definitely her coming out album. Control made her a heavyweight in the music industry and firmly separated her from her famous brothers. Another big moment in Janet’s career was the infamous wardrobe malfunction at Super Bowl 2004. Even though Janet’s exposure lasted less than twenty seconds, her career took a major hit while Justin Timberlake faced no repercussions. Despite Justin being responsible for the malfunction, Janet’s race and gender contributed to her being canceled while Justin was protected.

Janet participated in a two-part documentary about her life, Janet, which is coming out on Lifetime and A&E on January 28th. Janet is covering Allure’s February issue. In the profile, Janet discussed the Super Bowl incident and growing older in the public eye. Here are a few highlights:

On her Janet era in 1993
“[It was about] embracing me and trying to learn to love me for me, my body, all of that. Trying to feel comfortable in embracing that. Throwing myself in the lion’s den. Just going for it, wanting to do something different.”

“It took a lot of work, a lot of work. It was something very tough, very difficult. But I’m glad I walked through it. I’m really glad I got in. It was a way of accepting and loving, accepting yourself and your body.”

On the Super Bowl incident
“What’s really important is going back to having that foundation. Not just family, but God. That’s what really pulled me through. It’s tough for me to talk about that time.”

On being a talking point about racism and sexism
“Whether I want to be part of that conversation or not, I am part of that conversation. I think it’s important. Not just for me, but for women. So I think it’s important that conversation has been had. You know what I mean? And things have changed obviously since then for the better.”

On growing older in the public eye
“I’m very fortunate to have a very loyal and loving fan base. And I think they will always accept me for who I am.

“Everyone would always want to stay young and this and that, but it’s inevitable. I mean, we’re all going to get there.”

On aging naturally vs. getting work done
“There’s another road… It’s a little bit of zhuzh.”

“I don’t know when my day is coming, but at some point it’s going to come and I can choose which path I want to take. I do hope I age gracefully. It’s either a little bit of zhuzh or gracefully.”

[From Allure]

Janet has always been my favorite Jackson. Starting with Control, my favorite album of 1986, I literally wanted to be Janet. So when I got to see Janet in concert at the Essence Fest in 2018, it was a dream come true. Janet’s music has always been innovative to me. Every one of Janet’s albums spoke to me intimately and The Velvet Rope and Discipline are my favorites. I love how Janet carved out her own path separate from her famous family. I was truly upset about how Janet was treated after the Super Bowl debacle and equally incensed at the silence coming from Timberlake’s camp. What was more angering was Justin’s weak ass apology last year. That apology was 17 years too late. I am sure Janet didn’t want to be a part of the conversation around race and sexism, but the Super Bowl incident thrust her into the spotlight. Janet has handled it like a pro.

I am looking forward to Janet’s documentary because she rarely talks about her personal life or the things she’s gone through. People have created such a mythology around her that is not accurate. I am ready to hear about Janet in her own words. I also want to know what really happened at the Super Bowl and how she felt about Justin’s silence. I am also excited to hear from her friends and the people who have worked with her.

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16 Responses to “Janet Jackson on the Super Bowl incident: things have changed since then for the better”

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  1. Jais says:

    Excited to see this. Love her. She’s probably tired of talking about JT but a part of me wants her to classily eviscerate him.

  2. Dtab says:

    Same….I have always loved Janet. Discipline is such an underrated album, so happy that you noted this as one of your faves. Its one of mine also.

  3. Lauren Too says:

    I hate the fact that JT got to keep his career and continue being America’s golden boy while Janet had to suffer all the sexist and racist attacks against her alone, even though none of it was her fault. She is a truly wonderful entertainer and it’s always great to see her living her best life.

  4. Melly says:

    I watched the Rhythm Nation & Pleasure Principle videos so many times when I was young. I hate that she got blacklisted because of the super bowl. Im no football fan, so it’s always Janet Jackson day instead of the super bowl. I’m so excited to hear her share her life story.

    • Teddy says:

      Yes! LOVE the Rhythm Nation video. She was powerful and ahead of her time. Have always seen it and JJ as a setting a path for Beyoncé.

  5. Chaine says:

    “I don’t know when my day is coming” for getting work done? lol I’m glad for her that she is making a comeback but the plastic surgery ship already sailed! Why can’t these celebs just admit it.

    • Bellah says:

      I know, right? A little bit of zhuzh indeed. 😂
      I know what she looked like. I’ve been a fan since she was a sassy little girl. I don’t judge her cosmetic choices.
      Still love her to bits.

      • Ana170 says:

        She’s always been open about getting her nose done when she was a teenager. It’s not a secret. I don’t think she’s had anything else done to her face. She’s clearly here answering a question about getting work to hide aging.

  6. Nev says:


  7. Nicole says:

    Janet 4evah!

  8. Otaku fairy says:

    “Whether I want to be part of that conversation or not, I am part of that conversation. I think it’s important. Not just for me, but for women.” She’s right, no matter how comfortable it can be to pretend the two aren’t related. Glad to see things are going well for her.

  9. Nev says:

    When I Think of You video.
    The beauty. Her smile. Real dancing!!!

  10. JanetDR says:

    I was watching the super bowl performance and didn’t see a thing. I’m apparently going to be mad forever about how she was treated.

    • Deering24 says:

      That scumbag Les Moonves went after her so hard it was revolting. He blacklisted her across a lot of CBS-related platfoms, all because she wouldn’t “apologize” to him. One can imagine what that apology would have entailed…🤮🤮

  11. Angh says:

    I never understood the big hoopla about the Superbowl even back then. It was just a nipple. Sheesh. just remember thinking how cool her piercing was. It sucked that it affected her career so much.