Like millions of others in the U.S. and around the world, VU staffers gathered around TV sets to watch the Super Bowl. Despite seeing the Panthers and Patriots score 24 points in three minutes in the second quarter and 37 points in the fourth quarter, it was a sleazy halftime show that stole the stage from the one of the best Super Bowls in the 38-year history of the event.
With the score 14-10 at halftime, the NFL, in association with MTV, sponsored a halftime program that featured the likes of P. Diddy, Kid Rock and Nelly. But the noteworthy moment would come from Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.
As if the Jackson family hasn't endured enough controversy -- much of it self-promoted -- Janet and Justin did what few thought they could. The pop stars offended millions with a bump-and-grind rendition of Timberlake's tedious bubble gum anthem "Rock Your Body" -- which includes the line "I'm gonna have you naked by the end of this song." Those words rang true as, at the end of the performance, Timberlake pulled on Jackson's costume -- exposing her right breast, which was adorned with a piece of jewelry that looked like the sun.
VU has been told that CBS executives were hopping mad immediately after the stunt. In a statement, Timberlake claimed the incident was a "wardrobe malfunction." But, he apparently failed to realize that while hundreds of millions of people watch the Super Bowl, millions of them tape the game -- including some of us at VU.
It was clear the move was intentional and pre-planned. To claim that an outfit comes with removable breast covers is pretty ridiculous and, if viewed in slow motion, it's clear that that "oops!" moment was part of the performance. In fact, on MTV's own website, a spokesperson for Jackson earlier in the week promised "shocking moments" in the performance.
Perhaps the convergence of the NFL and the rock world will take a step back after this. NFL spokespeople have already said the marriage with MTV directing the halftime show will be stopped immediately and the FCC is looking to hand down fines to CBS and investigate the roles Jackson and Timberlake had in the program.
Even if the event hadn't ended with partial nudity, it didn't provide the family fare the NFL has tried to project. Both Nelly and Puff Daddy had sexual lyrical references in their songs and, surprisingly, the coarse-mouthed Kid Rock was probably the cleanest of all the performers.
On a day when the NFL was showcasing itself with one of the greatest championship games ever, it's sad that the day was clouded by a publicity stunt by egomaniacs like Jackson and Timberlake.
The only good news to come out of it was that the general public didn't see the fat streaker who was dressed as a referee who "dropped trou'" before the second half kickoff or there would be a lot more "splaining to do."
Game Overshadowed By Nudity
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