We followed the events leading up to the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, the ensuing scandal, and the fallout.
Normally, the Super Bowl is known for an entertaining game that ends with a football team being crowned champion, but the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 was eclipsed by one of the most talked-about halftime shows in history. Despite the fact that the show was entertaining, it ended in a scandal. Janet Jackson, the legendary vocalist, and Justin Timberlake, the pop artist, are at the centre of the debate.
Timberlake was a surprise guest that year, but his astonishment turned to shock when he famously ripped off Jackson’s top, exposing her bare breast on live television. Since the incident, which has been dubbed “Nipplegate,” fingers have been pointed in an attempt to pin blame on who is to blame for what happened. In November 2021, the New York Times produced Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson, a documentary that examines the cultural and racial confrontation that occurred on stage — although it only features interviews with NFL and MTV officials who were there at the game that night.
In December 2003, the National Football League (NFL) announced that Jackson will headline the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, which would be produced by MTV, who also produced the 2001 event, which featured Britney Spears, Aerosmith, Mary J. Blige, *NSYNC, and Nelly as performers. According to Entertainment Weekly, Jackson was originally scheduled to perform at the 2002 halftime show, but was replaced by U2. In 2003, Shania Twain and No Doubt were chosen to headline.
Janet Jackson’s choreographer promised “shocking moments” on January 28, 2004.
In the days preceding up to the event, details were kept under wraps, but a comment from one of Jackson’s choreographers raised concerns after she spoke with MTV News. The dancer teased that “there are some shocking moments in there too” in the article, which was published on Jan. 28, 2004. It not only revealed that Jessica Simpson, Diddy, Nelly, and Kid Rock would appear as guest performers, but it also revealed that “there are some shocking moments in there too.”