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Janet Jackson Shared A Quote About “Uplifting” People After Justin Timberlake Received Huge Backlash Over A New Documentary Reexamining His “Disgusting” And “Appalling” Treatment Of Her At The 2004 Super Bowl

Viewers have labeled Timberlake the "face of misogyny and privilege in the music industry" after Jackson's career declined as a result of him infamously ripping away part of her costume during their 2004 Super Bowl performance.

Posted on November 22, 2021, at 11:43 a.m. ET

Janet Jackson has shared a new post about “appreciating” and “uplifting” people in the wake of the reaction to the New York Times’ recent documentary, Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson.

David Becker / Getty Images for Park MGM

The documentary, which aired on Nov. 19, uncovers how Jackson’s career became severely damaged following her performance at the Super Bowl in February 2004, during which she was joined on stage by fellow artist Justin Timberlake.

Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

In the halftime show, Timberlake ripped away part of Jackson’s costume during their performance, exposing her breast. At the time, and for years that followed, Jackson faced large amounts of public scrutiny and negative press.

Frank Micelotta / Getty Images

Immediately afterward, as the documentary highlights, Timberlake publicly made light of the situation. He told interviewers, “I love giving y’all something to talk about” and “It's every man’s dream,” in reference to the performance. Jackson, on the other hand, couldn’t be found in the moments that followed, but reportedly cried as the stage manager put a blanket around her.

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Shortly after the Super Bowl aired, both Timberlake and Jackson issued apologies, after the FCC reportedly received over 500,000 complaints about the broadcast.

Donald Miralle / Getty Images

In a statement to MTV News on Feb. 1, Timberlake said, “I am sorry if anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance at the Super Bowl. It was not intentional and is regrettable.”

David Becker / Getty Images

Jackson said, in her own video statement, “The decision to have a costume reveal at the end of my halftime show performance was made after final rehearsals. MTV was completely unaware of it. It was not my intention that it go as far as it did. I apologize to anyone offended — including the audience, MTV, CBS and the NFL.”

Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

Years later in 2018, Jackson said she regretted making that apology, and revealed she asked her management what she was actually apologizing for prior to filming it.

“It was an accident,” she told Oprah. “The management I had at the time, they thought it was important that I did.”

On Feb. 8, 2004, the 46th Annual Grammy Awards came around, and CBS requested that Timberlake and Jackson — who were both set to appear — make formal apologies during the show in order to attend.

Jeff Haynes / AFP via Getty Images

Timberlake agreed to apologize on air, and subsequently not only attended the award show, but performed and won two of his nominations. During his acceptance speech, he laughed while saying, “I know it's been a rough week for everybody. ... What occurred was unintentional, completely regrettable, and I completely apologize if you were offended.”

Jamie Mccarthy / FilmMagic

Jackson, on the other hand, was reportedly set to appear during a Luther Vandross tribute, but was ultimately removed in the wake of the Super Bowl controversy. She declined to apologize, per CBS, and therefore did not attend.

Chris Walter / WireImage

And this only marked the very beginning of the damage that Jackson’s career suffered. For example, as the documentary reveals, Jackson’s songs and videos released after the Super Bowl received significantly lower airplay on radio stations than usual, while her album Damita Jo was her lowest-selling since 1984.

Christopher Polk / Getty Images for BET

Meanwhile, Timberlake’s brand deal with McDonald’s — for which he was reportedly paid $6 million — stayed in place despite the controversy. He also was asked back to perform at halftime of the Super Bowl in 2018 — something that incited criticism from many viewers.

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Speaking with MTV News in August 2006, Timberlake addressed the fact that most of the negative press had been aimed at Jackson, highlighting the wider issues of gender and race that many had begun to question.

MTV / Via youtube.com

“It's an understatement to say that it was sort of unfair if you consider it 50-50, I probably got 10% of the blame,” he said. “And that says something about society. I think that America's harsher on women, and I think that America's unfairly harsh on ethnic people.”

Back in February this year, Timberlake issued a brief apology toward Jackson in a statement posted on Instagram. He noted that he cares for and respects her, and knows that he “failed” in his response to the Super Bowl incident.

Andreas Rentz / Getty Images

And now, the latest documentary on Jackson’s experience has reignited the conversation around Timberlake’s treatment of her, and of women in Hollywood more broadly.

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Over the weekend, many viewers took to Twitter to voice their support for the “All for You” singer — with the hashtag #JusticeForJanet trending shortly after the documentary’s release.

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

“[Justin Timberlake’s] behavior is disgusting. The lack of empathy, disrespectful behavior and misogny is appalling,” tweeted one user.

Watching @nytimes presents: #Malfunction: The Dressing Down of @JanetJackson and @jtimberlake’s behavior is disgusting. The lack of empathy, disrespectful behavior and #misogyny is appalling. Janet is a TREASURE! 🖤✨

Twitter: @titusthemutt

“They way they slandered, degraded humiliated and shamed Janet in the media like that and she remained so fucking graceful and peaceful is a testament of the strength,dignity & character of Janet Jackson. #justiceforjanet,” wrote another.

They way they slandered, degraded humiliated and shamed Janet in the media like that and she remained so fucking graceful and peaceful is a testament of the strength,dignity & character of Janet Jackson. #justiceforjanet

Twitter: @strawbamitajoho

Among the influx of critical tweets that surfaced, a clip of Timberlake performing at Irving Plaza in 2011 began circulating, where he can be seen making light of the incident, and mocking Jackson.

When Justin Timberlake capitalized Janet Jackson's misfortune #JusticeforJanet #JanetDoc

Twitter: @Omar_777_

In the short video, Timberlake can be seen pulling his shirt away near his chest and pointing at his nipple, while rapping the lyrics: “Maybe I’m an asshole / Oops, did I take it too far? Super Bowl.”

Many voiced their disgust at the resurfaced clip, calling Timberlake out for “capitalizing” on Jackson's “misfortune.”

Picture Alliance / dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

“This is why I stopped f*cking with [Timberlake]. He's a culture vulture and left #JanetJackson out on a limb. So happy Ms. Jackson's truth will finally be told #JusticeForJanet,” one person tweeted.

This is why I stopped f*cking with @jtimberlake. He's a culture vulture and left #JanetJackson out on a limb. So happy Ms. Jackson's truth will finally be told #JusticeForJanet https://t.co/S06DvC8Q12

Twitter: @SBBookJBraxton

And after several viewers criticized the former NSYNC star, Jackson appeared to enter the conversation herself.

Dave J Hogan / Dave J Hogan / Getty Images

On Sunday, Jackson — who had largely remained silent on social media after the documentary's release — shared a quote to both Twitter and Instagram, in the wake of the controversy.

Bryan Bedder / Getty Images

Jackson wrote: “Not sure if you got the memo. But we’re not competing anymore, we’re appreciating and uplifting each other instead.”

Twitter: @JanetJackson

While it’s uncertain whether or not Jackson’s quote was in reference to the documentary and the criticism being shared, eagle-eyed fans noticed that Timberlake liked the post.

@janetjackson / Via instagram.com

However, many also speculated that Jackson’s post might have been referring to the recent spat between Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, which also attracted attention over the weekend.

Britney Spears calls out Christina Aguilera for walking away from a question about her conservatorship ending.

Twitter: @PopCrave

After Aguilera seemingly avoided a question about Spears’ conservatorship in an interview, the “Toxic” singer called her out on Instagram, which led to fans pitting the two pop stars against each other, rehashing an age-old debate. Along with Timberlake, Aguilera also liked Jackson’s post.

Timberlake’s controversial past is something that came to light earlier this year, following the release of FX and Hulu’s Framing Britney Spears, which reexamined his treatment of his ex-girlfriend as well as her experiences of being scrutinized by the media.

Dave Hogan / Getty Images

If you didn’t know, Timberlake and Spears’ three-year-long relationship ended in a highly publicized breakup in 2002. Spears was notoriously demonized by the media for being the cause of their split — a narrative that Timberlake has been accused of perpetuating and publicly “weaponizing” to boost his own career.

Barry King / WireImage

One of the most controversial parts of the documentary centered around Timberlake’s past comments about having sex with Spears. In an interview with Hot 97, he said, “I did it. I'm dirty,” when asked if he’d had “oral intercourse” with her.

Christina Radish / Redferns

Many fans noted how Timberlake’s disrespectful remarks about Spears — which he made while laughing — seemed to parallel the way in which he’d publicly mocked Jackson and the Super Bowl performance.

As mentioned, Timberlake addressed the criticism in a statement shared to Instagram in February, in which he apologized to both Spears and Jackson for his actions.

“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” he began. “I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right.”

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

“I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism,” he continued.

“I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed,” he added.

Timberlake has yet to respond to the new wave of criticism following the latest documentary around the Super Bowl, though fans are urging him to formally apologize to Jackson once again.

Jesse Grant / Getty Images

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.