Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s infamous 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show scandal is being reexamined in a new docuseries that shows there are still lingering questions about what went wrong.
“The New York Times Presents” released its latest documentary, “Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson,” Friday on Hulu and FX, which zeroed in on what remains one of the most talked about Super Bowl performances to date.
The “malfunction” happened at the very end of Jackson’s performance when Timberlake joined her onstage. It wasn’t until Timberlake sang his last line — “I’m gonna have you naked by the end of this song” — when he pulled back a piece of Jackson’s outfit and exposed one of her breasts on live television.
The documentary covered the mistreatment Jackson received after the scandal and how Timberlake walked away from the controversy seemingly unscathed. However, it also floated the idea that Jackson or a member of her staff planned the stunt.
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Salli Frattini, a senior vice president for MTV who worked on the planning for the halftime show, said in the doc that Jackson “never said anything” to her team about the mishap after the fact. Instead, Jackson left shortly after the performance.
“Here we are trying to ask the person that this has happened to because this happened to her, and she was gone,” Frattini said. “Then we sought out Justin. We pulled him aside one to one. He was like, ‘That was never meant to happen.’ I was told you guys knew. He was very apologetic. He manned up.”
Another person interviewed for the docuseries claimed Jackson looked “distraught” immediately after the performance.
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The film also touched on previous reports that Jackson’s stylist may have went shopping at the last minute to change her wardrobe for the performance before the big day.
“What’s been reported is that after the rehearsal for the halftime show the next day, he went out shopping on his own and reporting shows he spent a lot of time at a local tailor, and we don’t know what it was that was being worked on there but clearly some of the wardrobe was being adjusted,” one contributor said.
According to Frattini, Timberlake met with Jackson and her stylist prior to the two going on stage. “I remember speaking with him, ‘Are you all set? Do you have any questions?’ There was a quest for him to speak to Janet, her stylist. We as the producers, we weren’t in the room. Nobody was in the room. There was a small conversation that lasted minutes in her dressing room. Justin came out, everyone went off to get in their ready, start positions.”
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The film did not end with any true answers from those at the center of the controversy, including Jackson, Timberlake and former CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves. Jackson’s stylist also did not participate.
After the controversy, Jackson released multiple apologetic statements about the scandal.
“The decision to have a costume reveal at the end of my halftime show performance was made after final rehearsals … MTV was completely unaware of it. It was not my intention that it go as far as it did. I apologize to anyone offended, including the audience, MTV, CBS and the NFL,” she initially said.
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Jackson is expected to tell her story in another documentary scheduled to be released in January 2022 by A&E and Lifetime titled “JANET.”
Representatives for Jackson and Timberlake did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment about the “New York Times Presents” documentary.