Embattled CBS CEO and Chairman Les Moonves reportedly tried to destroy Janet Jackson’s career following her 2004 Super Bowl halftime show performance during which Justin Timberlake briefly exposed her breast, HuffPost reports.
Moonves, who is rumored to be ousted from the company over claims of sexual harassment, has allegedly held a grudge against Jackson and kept her off many Viacom properties following the incident.
Jackson and Timberlake apologized for the incident and said it was a “wardrobe malfunction” and only the red lace fabric underneath her bustier was to be exposed.
Moonves reportedly felt that it was an intentional act and banned the duo from performing at the 2004 Grammy Awards telecast, which aired on CBS.
Timberlake was allowed to perform at that year’s show because he “tearfully apologized” to Moonves, sources told HuffPost.
Sources also told HuffPost that Jackson also personally apologized to Moonves, but he felt it wasn’t sincere enough, which enraged him.
Under Moonves’ orders, Viacom, which was CBS’ parent company in 2004, pulled Jackson’s music videos from MTV and BET, and her songs were not played on Viacom-owned radio stations, per the report.
Jackson’s career took a significant hit following her Super Bowl performance. Her album Damita Jo, which was released in March 2004, eventually went platinum, selling 1 million copies, significantly fewer than her previous two albums.
Jackson fans have felt that Timberlake’s career thrived following the incident while hers suffered, and that was because of Moonves tarnishing her image to the public, sources told HuffPost.
The “Made for Now” singer has recently seen a career resurgence. She just completed her State of the World Tour, which had grossed over $33 million by the end of 2017, according to Pollstar.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.