Justin Timberlake was recently asked to perform at the Super Bowl in 2018. This will be Timberlake’s third Super Bowl performance. His first time performing was in 2002, then quickly following he was back in 2004. In 2004 he was invited to perform with Janet Jackson. Since the announcement of Timberlake performing this year, the incident that happened back in 2004 is resurfacing.
Here is a quick recap of what happened in 2004: Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performed the half-time show at the Super Bowl. During the performance, he accidentally ripped her shirt exposing her bare breasts. Everyone was outraged, there were delays and there was a lot of negative press and mostly towards Janet Jackson. Now, the question arising is, is it wrong for the NFL to invite Justin Timberlake back to the Super Bowl?
We, as the editorial board, have decided that it isn’t wrong that the NFL invited Justin Timberlake back to the Super Bowl following the 2004 incident. Timberlake has remained relevancy in the media since 2004 and still has a large fan base, so it is fitting to have a celebrity like him performing. However, following the incident Janet Jackson was penalized very unfairly by the industry. Timberlake didn’t receive nearly as much grief. Soon after, Jackson was uninvited to the 46th Grammy Awards, whereas Timberlake was still present, performed and addressed the incident. But it was an accident, right? They should have received the same penalties, if any penalties following the incident.
We think that Timberlake should make it clearer that he didn’t mean Janet harm. He needs to take the matter more seriously and address the fact that he wasn’t treated nearly as unfairly. Our society is too hard on women and minorities, and this is a problem that needs attention. Women are portrayed a lot more negatively in the media and in situations like this, where a man and woman were both involved in the same incident, there shouldn’t have been so much negative attention solely focused on the woman.
We don’t think that is it wrong of the NFL to invite Timberlake back, however we do think that it would be appropriate for the NFL to invited Janet Jackson back to perform at the Super Bowl, whether it be this upcoming one or in the future. On the contrary, we do see why people are outraged that they have invited Timberlake back and that Jackson wasn’t invited back and her career has suffered since the incident; however, this is 2018, not 2004. The NFL is allowed to invite whomever it would like. Jackson is not banned from performing at the Super Bowl, and they could have invited her this year. However, they chose Justin Timberlake to perform and he shouldn’t be ridiculed this decision.
This editorial was written by Madeline Matzinger based on the opinion of a JAMS 504 editorial board for Media Milwaukee.