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NFL Says Janet Jackson is Not Banned, But She Wasn’t Asked to Perform Either

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The Internet has been on fire since it was announced that Justin Timberlake would headline the 2018 Super BowlLII Halftime Show in February at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

In 2004, Timberlake hit the headlines when he ripped off part of Janet Jackson’s costume, which revealed her bare breast on live TV, leading to the scandal known as “Nipplegate.”

The MTV produced show placed Jackson in an immense public turmoil, cost CBS a $550,000 fine from the FCC, but Timberlake, who carried out the costume removal, faced little to no backlash for the incident.

Fast-forward to the present, some fans questioned the “SexyBack” singer being selected to perform, insisting he should have received the same treatment as Jackson, even launching the social media hashtag #JusticeForJanet, while others are for his appearance, celebrating a possible N*SYNC reunion.

To support their decision, the NFL is also denying that Jackson has been banned from performing, even though she wasn’t asked to perform.

“There’s no ban,” a rep told TMZ. However, the league did not address whether Jackson will appear during Timberlake’s set. “We are not going to comment on any speculation regarding potential guests. There may be no guests. Along with Pepsi, we’re excited to have Justin Timberlake.”

In an interview with NBC Sunday Night Football following the announcement, Timberlake was asked if he thought the 2018 show would be as controversial as his performance alongside Jackson in 2004. He insisted that nothing of the sort will happen in February, telling the television show: “Yeah, that won’t happen this time!”

 

In the past, Timberlake was vocal about the fact that Jackson received more of the blame for the incident. “It’s an understatement to say that it was sort of unfair,” he told MTV. “If you consider it 50/50, I probably got 10 percent of the blame. That, I think, says something about society. America is harsher on women. America is unfairly harsh on ethnic people. At the time it was happening, it was so crazy to me, that I didn’t handle it the best way I could have.”

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