Why is Justin Timberlake Playing the Super Bowl but Janet Jackson Blacklisted?
Guy-who-ripped-off-a-woman’s-shirt, Justin Timberlake, is asked back to play this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, but the woman whose shirt he ripped off has been blacklisted from the U.S. music industry completely. In an egregious example of male privilege and victim-blaming that could only happen in Donald Trump’s America, the guy who committed the sexual aggression has been rewarded with a return visit, while the American music career of the woman whose top was ripped off was ruined.
Why the fuck is Justin Timberlake playing the Super Bowl again? He hasn’t even put out a record in four years! (OK he technically just released one today. But nobody likes anything off it yet!) There’s an entire pop music pantheon of deserving artists out there who could play a great Super Bowl halftime show, but instead we get a retread performance from Grabby McGroper.
You remember that 2004 Super Bowl incident, and you probably remember exactly where you were when you saw it. The bodice rip seen ‘round the world gave birth to the obvious-lie phrase “wardrobe malfunction,” served as the inspiration for YouTube, and was widely shared as an animated gif back when we still shared animated gifs as million-megabyte email attachments. (You probably don’t remember that Kid Rock, Nelly, and P. Diddy also performed in that halftime show.)
According to the New York Times, “MTV and other radio and video outlets effectively blacklisted [Janet Jackson’s] music, wrecking the commercial prospects of her 2004 album, ‘Damita Jo.’ Meanwhile, Mr. Timberlake’s career kept moving along. At the Grammy Awards, which that year followed the Super Bowl, he won two awards, while apologizing for the ‘unintentional’ incident.” It was not unintentional, and Jackson herself was banned from the Grammys that year.
Just look at this tone-deaf fuckin’ weasel Justin Timberlake, trying to groom himself as some sort of #MeToo hero for boasting that his wife is hot and ripping off women’s clothing. Janet Jackson was forced to apologize, and at-the-time Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell said, “She probably got what she was looking for,” slut-shaming her for not even being a slut.
UPDATE: Readers have pointed out updated financial reports on Janet Jackson that indicate “In 2013, it was estimated that she earned upward of $81,000,000 from endorsement and sponrship deals alone.” The Broke-Ass I-Team cannot independently verify this total, and we will note these reports spelled it “sponrship.” But Motley Fool estimates her worldwide career revenue at $1 billion, and Ms. Jackson is about to receive $200 million in a divorce settlement. So she’s fighting the patriarchy in her own way.
Janet Jackson has suffered enough, being raised by a horribly abusive father and enduring a lifetime of double-standard bullshit as a black woman in America. She would frankly be a way better choice for the halftime show than Justin Goddamn Timberlake. Janet Jackson would be playing this show if we had any say in the matter or, you know, Control.
NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly misnamed the teams playing in the 2004 Super Bowl. The Broke-Ass Fact Checkers regret the breakdown in pass coverage. Additional information has been added to this article regarding the state of Janet Jackson’s current finances.