Janet Jackson

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

What was the accusation?

During the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, Janet Jackson’s wardrobe unexpectedly malfunctioned, exposing her right breast on live television to millions of viewers. The controversial incident instigated both public outcry and an official investigation by the Federal Communications Commission. In the days that followed, Jackson, fellow performer Justin Timberlake, MTV (the halftime show’s producer), and CBS all expressed remorse for what happened. Jackson’s apology specifically absolved her media partners of any wrongdoing and painted the incident as a regrettable accident rooted in last-minute changes from the final rehearsal.

Key Apologia Strategies:

Mortification, Accident



My decision to change the Super Bowl performance was actually made after the final rehearsal. MTV, CBS, the NFL had no knowledge of this whatsoever, and unfortunately, the whole thing went wrong in the end. I am really sorry if I offended anyone. That was truly not my intention. 


Apologetic Jackson says ‘costume reveal’ went awry. (2004, February 3). CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/02/02/superbowl.jackson/

Kreps, D. (2014, January 30). Nipple ripples: 10 years of fallout from Janet Jackson’s halftime show. Rolling Stone. Retrieved from http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/nipple-ripples-10-years-of-fallout-from-janet-jacksons-halftime-show-20140130

Moss, C. (2004, February 3). Janet Jackson issues video apology for Super Bowl Incident: Singer reiterates her responsibility and regret for breast-baring stunt. MTV News. Retrieved from http://www.mtv.com/news/1484801/janet-jackson-issues-video-apology-for-super-bowl-incident/