A new documentary will address the infamous Super Bowl performance between Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.
The Super Bowl XXXVIII from 2004 marked a cultural shift and not because of the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers but the infamous wardrobe malfunction that exposed Jackson’s breast.
Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson is a new documentary that will explore the incident, explain how FCC regulations have changed since then, and how Jackson’s career suffered after the incident (while Justin Timberlake didn’t seem to suffer at all from any repercussions of the performance).
Director Jodi Gomes explains the aftermath of the performance is “something you can’t ignore” in an interview with TODAY Wednesday.
“I think it just became an explosive powder keg and in the middle of that was this woman who had pioneered her image, and she was punished for it,” Gomes said.
Gomes also added that the shift in America now, this film hopes to open a new perspective, “So much happened in between (then and now) culturally, politically and socially to us as America, that I thought we needed to look at this film through a different lens.”
Justin Timberlake, whose career only further took off after the incident, came out with a public apology to Jackson when also addressing his misogynistic comments after the breakup with his ex Britney Spears.
“I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism,” he wrote in a February post to Instagram. “I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.”
Gomes commented on how the incident had very different effects on the two singers. “Janet’s career certainly descended, while Justin’s career ascended. And that’s just something you can’t ignore. I think it says a lot about our industry, and how we handle ageism. I think it has a lot to do with sexism, and I think it has a lot to do with racism.”
Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson will be available to stream on Hulu and FX beginning Friday (Nov. 19) night.
Watch the trailer below: