A documentary about Janet Jackson’s infamous incident at the 2004 Super Bowl (Super Bowl XXXVIII), when Justin Timberlake exposed her breast during their halftime performance, has been set for release in a couple of weeks.
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Titled Malfunction: The Dressing Down Of Janet Jackson, the new film will air on FX at 10pm EST on Friday November 19, streaming on Hulu concurrently.
It marks the latest in a series of documentaries produced by The New York Times, following last month’s Controlling Britney Spears. NME gave that film a four-star review, calling it a “chilling” follow-up to the “heartbreakingly human” Framing Britney Spears.
Malfunction also comes ahead of another documentary based on events in Jackson’s life, simply titled Janet, which is due to land in January via Lifetime and A&E. Produced by the world-renowned singer herself, it will air in celebration of her self-titled debut album’s 40th anniversary.
Malfunction was directed and produced by Jodi Gomes, who’d previously worked on The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty for A&E. Deadline reports that it will “examine the racial and cultural currents that collided on the Super Bowl stage, and explores how the incident impacted one of the most successful pop musicians in history”.
The film will also touch on how the wardrobe malfunction affected Jackson’s career, with many having considered it a death blow to her continual stardom (while Timberlake enjoyed repeated success thereafter).
It’ll feature rare footage from the night in question, as well as interviews with several of those involved in the incident’s airing (including executives from the NFL and MTV). Deadline also reports that several “music industry insiders, cultural critics and members of the Jackson family” will be spotlighted.
Timberlake addressed the incident earlier this year, apologising to Jackson after developments in the conservatorship of Britney Spears saw him criticised for his behaviour towards the two women.
“The industry is flawed,” he said. “It sets men, especially white men, up for success. It’s designed this way. As a man in a privileged position I have to be vocal about this. Because of my ignorance, I didn’t recognize it for all that it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again.”