In 2004, the "Can't Stop The Feeling" singer took the stage for a joint performance with Janet Jackson, during which Timberlake pulled on Jackson's costume, exposing her bare breast to the world. The following Sunday, Jackson was banned from the 2004 Grammys. Her videos were allegedly blacklisted from Viacom networks, like MTV. Timberlake (a.k.a. the person who actually pulled off Jackson's costume, even if accidentally) suffered no significant consequences.
Now, 14 years after so-called "nipplegate" (because seeing a woman's nipple apparently calls for a catastrophic-sounding moniker?) Timberlake is getting honest about the fallout from his previous Super Bowl performance, as well as how he did mend the relationship with Jackson.
During an interview with Zane Lowe for Beats 1, Timberlake was asked by the host if he was able to make "peace" with Jackson over the incident. The Social Network star, who is about to embark on his Man Of The Woods tour, responded with "Absolutely," also adding:
"I don't know that a lot of people know that. I don't think it's my job to do that because you value the relationships that you do have with people."
The lack of specifics do make me wonder what making peace really looked like between Timberlake and Jackson. Many people felt that Timberlake did not do his part to stand up for Jackson, whose career was essentially cancelled following that halftime performance. It was two years after the Super Bowl that Timberlake finally admitted, during an interview with MTV News, that he got off easy after the whole incident.
"I probably got 10 percent of the blame, and that says something about society," Timberlake told the outlet. "I think that America's harsher on women. And I think that America is, you know, unfairly harsh on ethnic people."
You can still fix this, JT: Bring Jackson up on stage during your performance, and keep your hands far, far away from her costume.