The 2004 Super Bowl halftime show has become infamous for the moment that Justin Timberlake ripped off a piece of Janet Jackson’s costume to expose her bare breast for a fraction of a second, an incident that coined the term “wardrobe malfunction” and set back Jackson’s career for years.
A new New York Times-FX/Hulu docuseries takes a look back at that moment and the cultural ramifications it created, examining the damage the stunt did to Jackson while Timberlake emerged unscathed.
“’Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson’ features rare footage and interviews with several people who were at the controls that night in Houston — including NFL and MTV executives — to reconstruct an incident that shook the country and explain how it shaped culture in the decades to follow,” the synopsis of the 10-episode docuseries states. “With new reporting by the Times, as well as insights from music industry insiders, cultural critics and members of the Jackson family, the film illuminates the extraordinary fallout, CBS executive Les Moonves’ role and Justin Timberlake’s parallel career rise.”
Directed by Jodi Gomes (“One Child Left Behind: The APS Teaching Scandal”; “The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty”), the series follows on the heels of “Controlling Britney Spears,” the explosive follow-up documentary to “Framing Britney Spears”, the docuseries that catalyzed international attention on the singer’s conservatorship battle.
“Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson” debuts Friday, Nov. 19.