On the eve of Super Bowl 48: Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the 10-year anniversary of one of the most infamous events in NFL -- or even television broadcasting -- history is being "celebrated".
Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction during the halftime show at Super Bowl 38.
The long and short of the story is Jackson, a pop star with a huge catalog of hits to perform, had Justin Timberlake join her on stage for a duet of "Rock Your Body", a single off the latter's debut album once he broke away from N'Sync. Timberlake hit the final line -- "I bet I'll have you naked by the end of this song" -- and while singing it, ripped off half of Jackson's top, exposing her right breast.
Her nipple was, in fact, covered, but it didn't appear that way to the audience of some 143 million people.
The fallout was a whirlwind of fines, legal battles, and pop culture significance. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined CBS, the broadcaster of that year's Super Bowl, a whopping $550,000, though that was later overturned. The incident also led to a mandatory five-second delay in all future performances.
It was a really big deal.
Jackson, for her part, claimed her breast was never supposed to be exposed, but rather a red lace bra. Shock value without full blown nudity. However, there was a "wardrobe malfunction" -- a phrase that would later be added to the dictionary because of all this -- that led to her going on display.
The impact of this incident cannot be overstated. Wikipedia breaks down the dominos that fell that led to many of the services you undoubtedly use today:
According to YouTube creator Jawed Karim, Janet's Super Bowl incident led to the creation of YouTube. The launch of Facebook commenced within three days of the incident to capitalize on its controversy through social networking. The incident also made "Janet Jackson" the most searched term, event and image in Internet history, as well as the most searched person and term of the year 2004 and also for the following year. The incident also broke the record for "most searched event over one day". Jackson was later listed in the 2007 edition of Guinness World Records as "Most Searched in Internet History" and the "Most Searched for News Item". It became the most watched, recorded and replayed television moment in TiVo history and "enticed an estimated 35,000 new [TiVo] subscribers to sign up".
After reading all this, you're surely hoping to see the video. Well, here you go:
For more details on the Super Bowl 48 halftime show this year, which promises to be far less controversial, click here.