UPDATE: Janet Jackson is not blacklisted from the Super Bowl, according to a report from Billboard. "Nobody is banned," an NFL spokesperson told the publication when asked if the singer is still able to appear at the game following the 2004 incident.
Original Story: It's official folks: Justin Timberlake is confirmed to perform the Super Bowl LII halftime show next year. "I DO have the time. Half the time..." the singer revealed on Sunday evening (Oct. 22) in a silly announcement video with friend Jimmy Fallon.
This will mark the third time Timberlake has graced the coveted stage, "giving him the distinction of having the most appearances by an individual entertainer," the NFL wrote. But why is it that he is being praised for his return while Janet Jackson, who he infamously performed alongside during 2004's "Nipplegate" halftime, remains banned? “That won’t happen this time,” Timberlake joked in reference to the controversy during an interview with NBC Sports anchor Mike Tirico on Sunday Night Football. “There was a little bit of that [discussion]. But no, Mike, that’s not going to happen.”
Granted the event was almost 14 years ago, but Timberlake gets to freely laugh about a moment that hindered Jackson's career. Following the incident where her breast was exposed, her singles and music videos on various radio stations, MTV, VH1 and other Viacom platforms were legally blacklisted. She was also banned from the Grammys that year, while Timberlake attended. "I know it's been a rough week on everybody. What occurred was unintentional, completely regrettable and I apologize if you guys are offended," he said. Yet his few sorries never appeared genuine, as he didn't directly apologize to Jackson herself. Meanwhile, the icon was forced to record a video apology without Timberlake by her side as support.
This all occurred as she tried to promote Damita Jo, which dropped about five weeks after Nipplegate. As for Timberlake? He remained unscathed as he was gearing up to release 2006's FutureSex/LoveSounds. While the singer gets to revel in the news while Jackson continues to be overshadowed, see some confused fan reactions about the Justin Timberlake halftime announcement below.
The 52nd Super Bowl will take place at Minneapolis, Minn.'s U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 4. Next, bring it back to a sweeter, non-controversial time with this *NSYNC appreciation episode of Besterday: