Publicity stunt or ‘wardrobe malfunction’ is what many are debating about Sunday’s spectacle during Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show when Justin Timberlake pulled off a piece of Janet Jackson’s costume to reveal part of her right breast. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has immediately instigated an investigation on act.
“I have instructed the Commission to open an immediate investigation into last night’s broadcast. Our investigation will be thorough and swift,” said FCC Chairman Michael Powell.
The partial nudity was seen by more than 72,000 fans and more than 100 million television viewers, including Powell’s family.
“I am outraged at what I saw during the halftime show of the Super Bowl. Like millions of Americans, my family and I gathered around the television for a celebration. Instead, that celebration was tainted by a classless, crass and deplorable stunt. Our nation’s children, parents and citizens deserve better.”
Southern Baptist Convention President Jack Graham was in the second row near the 50-yard line when the public display happened. Graham chided the incident yet shows his sympathy for the youth who are exposed to such incidents and themes.
"[The incident] was a public exhibition of the disregard for virtue, innocence, purity and true love in our present society," Graham said. "Yet, while we express our displeasure with such a display of sexually explicit behaviors, we also express love and compassion for a generation of young people who are saturated by this sex-crazed culture."
As pro-family supporters expressed their offense to the scene, MTV is claiming that it was an accident, being “unrehearsed, unplanned, [and] completely unintentional.”
"MTV regrets this incident occurred and we apologize to anyone who was offended by it,” MTV said in a statement.
"I am sorry that anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance of the Super Bowl," he said. "It was not intentional and is regrettable."
CBS, who broadcasted the Super Bowl, cut cameras away from the shot on Jackson and Timberlake and say they had no forewarning of the occurrence.
"CBS deeply regrets the incident that occurred during the Super Bowl halftime," CBS said in a statement. "We attended all rehearsals during the week, and there was no indication any such thing would happen."
Timberlake, tore off Jackson’s costume at the end of his song “Rock Your Body” said, "I am sorry that anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance of the Super Bowl," he said. "It was not intentional and is regrettable."
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue also gave his apologies. "We were extremely disappointed by the MTV-produced halftime show. It was totally inconsistent with assurances our office was given about the content of the show.
“The show was offensive, inappropriate and embarrassing to us and our fans. We will change our policy, our people and our processes for managing the halftime entertainment in the future in order to deal far more effectively with the quality of this aspect of the Super Bowl."
FCC Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein applauded Powell, who earlier in the year voted against the use of the f-word on television.
“I applaud the Chairman for launching an immediate investigation into last night’s broadcast of the Super Bowl halftime show. The Super Bowl should be a time families can spend together in their homes without the intrusion of tasteless and inappropriate behavior. I look forward to a swift resolution of the FCC’s investigation.”