What Super Bowl? It’s Janet Jackson Appreciation Day According to Twitter
Twitter users rebranded the celebration Janet Jackson Appreciation Day, honoring the legendary performers legacy and blasting CBS' Les Moonves. Fans praised and uplifted Jackson, 52, reminding her and all Super Bowl viewers that she's more than what happened to her.
Fans shared photos of Jackson throughout her career, tweeted about her accomplishments, videos from past performances and more. The singer has yet to acknowledge the outpouring of love. It's unclear if she will.
"Y'all might wanna mute me cause it's JANET ALL MFN DAYYY #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay," one fan tweeted.
Another said, "Les Moonves tried to singlehandedly destro Janet Jackson on a corporate conglomerate level. Janet Won. #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay."
"#JanetJacksonAppreciationDay hello she is THE pop princess. a legend. 10/10 human being," a third fan tweeted.
During the performance, Timberlake exposed Jackson's breast. Immediately after the stunt, questions started pouring in. Fans wondered if Jackson had been aware it was going to happen, whether Timberlake was in cahoots with network executives, and more. MTV, which was responsible for production on the show that year, distanced itself from the incident. The Federal Communications Commission received more than 540,000 complaints about the incident.
Jackson's rep called the moment "a malfunction of the wardrobe; it was not intentional." FCC Chairman Michale Powell called it "a classless, crass, and deplorable stunt." Moonves reportedly shifted the blame onto Timberlake, whom he forced to deliver a tearful apology on his behalf after the incident, according to a 2018 Huffington Post report. The embattled network executive said Timberlake could only allowed Timberlake to attend the Grammys that year and present if he followed the stipulations.
He was reportedly angry that Jackson didn't offer a similar apology. She was uninvited to the show as a result. Jackson fans felt the backlash was unfair, and she was being forced to shoulder too much of the blame. She agreed.
During a 2006 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jackson said she felt CBS "put all the emphasis on me, as opposed to us." She added that she was harboring bad feelings toward Timberlake, but was willing to forgive him in time. Jackson said she needed to rebuild her trust in him.
"Friendship is very imporant to me, and certain things you just don't do to friends. In my own time, I'll give him a call," she said at the time.
Timberlake returned to the Super Bowl in 2018 to perform during the halftime show. Jackson, however, has not been invited back. It's unclear if she would even consider such an opportunity.
Despite the controversy, Jackson has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The news was announced in December 2018.