Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Framing Britney Spears team to re-litigate Janet Jackson's Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction"

Left to right: Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake
Left to right: Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake
Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images (Getty Images)

Following up on the success of Framing Britney Spears, the documentary’s producers, Left/Right TV, are preparing to take viewers inside the infamous Super Bowl “nipplegate” controversy, reports US Weekly. The mass scandalization took place in 2004 at the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show when Justin Timberlake tore Janet Jackson’s costume, revealing her breast in what was described as a “wardrobe malfunction.”

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The incident began a nationwide conversation about decency on television. To put it into perspective, the words “wardrobe malfunction” were frequently used so frequently that Merriam Webster added the phrase to the dictionary. However, much in the way that the Spears documentary framed the pop star as a victim of misogyny, many have made a similar case for the treatment of Janet Jackson, who bore the brunt of the fallout from the Super Bowl debacle.

No stranger to stories about how society treats female celebrities, Left/Right TV produced the episode of FX’s documentary series The New York Times about Britney Spears’ conservatorship. The much-discussed documentary popularized the “free Britney” movement, a long-running fan campaign to get Spears out of her tightly-controlled business relationship with her father, Jamie Spears. Last month, Variety reported that an attorney for Britney Spears moved to have her father removed as her conservator.

Interestingly enough, Justin Timberlake is a prime character in both stories. Following the release of Framing Britney Spears, Timberlake released an apology to Spears, who he dated in the early 2000s, and Jackson.

“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,” Timberlake wrote in an Instagram post. “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.”

As of now, neither Timberlake nor Jackson are involved with the documentary. Jackson is working on a documentary of her own in celebration of the 40th anniversary of her debut album.