Most Controversial Super Bowl Moments Over The Years

Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson shared the stage at the Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show on February 1, 2004, but it did not go as expected.

The incident, dubbed “N——-gate,” started when Jackson and her stylist planned a costume stunt, former SVP for MTV Salli Frattini said. The “That’s the Way Love Goes” singer wanted to reveal a red bustier — not her private part — though Timberlake only learned about it the day of the performance and did not have the chance to rehearse, per Esquire.

During the show, the *NSYNC member tore off part of Jackson’s clothing and exposed the right part of her chest. It had a sun-shaped cover that prevented more from being exposed.

“I think the outrage toward Justin, at this point, not only is it unfair, but I actually believe that it continues to revictimize Janet,” culture critic Gerrick Kennedy told CNN. “I think it really does this other piece that really bothers me the most, where it strips two adults from autonomy over a mistake.”

The incident was revisited in The New York Times Presents’ installment, Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson.

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