People also weren’t happy about the trailer for “Us” scaring their children.
It’s been 15 years since Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s breast during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, but Adam Levine’s strip show at this year’s game is renewing conversation about the original nipplegate and the disparity in how male and female nudity is perceived by the FCC and the public.
More than 50 people filed complaints with the FCC about the Maroon 5 frontman’s decision to take off his shirt during his halftime performance, according to documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter on Friday. The backlash pales in comparison to what Jackson faced, and that’s precisely what most of the people who contacted the agency are upset about.
The FCC deputy chief for the consumer policy division Nancy Stevenson tells THR in a letter that the agency isn’t required to keep records of informal complaints for more than three years. So, all records of consumers who were unhappy about Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction have been purged. At the time, it was widely reported that more than half a million people complained to the FCC. The agency issued a $550,000 fine, but it was eventually thrown out following a legal battle that almost went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was also widely noted that Jackson’s career took a hit and she was forced to apologize for the incident, while Timberlake emerged largely unscathed.
A decade and a half later, many people turned to Twitter to demand #JusticeForJanet, while others reached out to the FCC. Here’s a sampling of some of the complaints sent to the FCC following the big game, most of which demanded gender equality when it comes to nipple baring-related punishment. (Spelling and grammar errors have not been corrected. Read the full set of complaints below.)