Janet Jackson

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Janet Jackson
Birth Date May 16, 1966
Birth Place Gary, Indiana, USA
Death Date Living
Occupation Singer
Website http://janetjackson.com

It's no secret that Janet Jackson not only has body piercings, but is an active proponent of them. After retooling herself with a far sexier image with the release of 1997's The Velvet Rope, she appeared on Oprah and defended her nipple piercings (the album artwork included footage of her tied up and closeups of her pierced nipple). "Well, for one, you get this great sensation," she said. "At any given moment of the day ... A lot of body piercing can be very sexual."

She's public with the media that she has her septum , her navel, her tongue, and her nipple pierced, as well as a genital piercing—and she's getting her friends involved too. "My friends and I have piercing parties. They'd all come over and there'd be no drinking or anything because you'll bleed more. So we'd sit and watch each other get pierced!"

In addition to body piercings, Janet Jackson also has tattoos—She recently told GQ magazine that she had a genital tattoo of Mickey and Minnie mouse having sex. Also in that racy interview, she talks about being highly sexual and experimenting sexually in her youth—she says now her piercings let her "feel so sexual all the time."

Her adoption of body modification was more than just image or carnality—it reflected a new message she was trying to send, that happiness comes from within (her fame and fortune had not brought her happiness). Not only does she consider the physical aspects of body piercing, but the emotional aspects as well. In an interview with Ebony magazine, she said her nostril was pierced for "a spiritual reason which I don't talk about."


The Scandal

Janet Jackson's piercings again came to the forefront on February 1, 2004 when, during the NFL Super Bowl half time show—in front of 100 million viewers—her top was partially torn off by Justin Timberlake as a finale, exposing a pierced nipple and a decorative nipple shield. According to the Drudge Report, the skit was approved by CBS (right up to the top executives—although they swear this was never in the rehearsals), and MTV who produced the half time show had promised in advance that viewers would see "Janet's shocking moments."

Because this occurred during primetime with many families and children watching, both the CBS switchboards and the police switchboards became immediately tied up. Viewers demanded an explanation, and some went so far as to call for charges to be pressed against Janet Jackson for baring her pierced breast during a family show. The NFL has told MTV that it is "unlikely" that they will produce another half time show in the future.

Justin Timberlake, who did the actual "exposing"—as he sung the lyric "I gotta have you naked by the end of this song"—makes the unlikely claim that it was an accident, calling it a "wardrobe malfunction," saying, "it was not intentional and is regrettable." MTV back-pedaled as well, releasing a statement saying it was "unrehearsed, unplanned, completely unintentional and was inconsistent with assurances we had about the content of the performance."

Screen captures from the performance itself, showing the "wardrobe malfunction".
A closeup picture clearly showing the sun-shaped nipple shield and piercing.
Download a short video of the skit, encoded as a WMV (Windows Media Player) file.

In the middle closeup photo, you can clearly see that the cenobite-like costume is designed to come apart like this, and in the first photo you can see (in Justin's hand) that the red "bra" under the leather is apparently designed to come off with it (disputing the "accident" theory). Who'd have thought that the NFL would get the credit for the first family hour airing of a bare pierced female breast?

As a point of trivia, very few news stories referred to the nipple piercing, but instead chose words like "tassle on her nipple" and "sun-shaped charm covering her nipple." Continuing the trivia, her stylist purchased the nipple shield for her at Taurian in Houston, Texas before the Super Bowl—which as a result had news trucks parked out front for several days!

The Aftermath

Several days after the stunt, Janet Jackson (who was promoting a new release of hers) stopped letting Justin take the blame, and issued the following statement via MTV:

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 apologise to anyone offended—including the audience, MTV, CBS and the NFL.

However, given the fact that Janet Jackson is an intelligent performer with a highly managed long-term career, it seems highly unlikely, to this writer at least, that she would do such an act without the specific permission of at least some of the powers above.

Michael Powell, the FCC chair, described it as "classless, crass, and deplorable," and promised a "thorough and swift" retaliation against CBS. Although $27,500 is the largest fine they can issue in theory, this act has prompted a call for a re-evaluation of decency laws in the US, with President Bush approving a bill to raise the fine to $275,000 per incident, and the FCC has ordered an investigation and said that it may apply the fine for every CBS affiliate, bringing the fine into the millions of dollars; the FCC has also considered revoking broadcast licenses for such offenses.

In the end, the FCC received over 500,000 complaints about the incident, and fined Viacom $550,000—or $27,500 (the maximum amount at the time) for every single one of Viacom's 20 directly owned CBS stations. Independent affiliates also broadcasting were not fined.

Shortly after the Super Bowl, Janet Jackson was scheduled to participate in the Grammys, but was "fired" and told not to come because of revealing the nipple—Justin Timberlake's invitation was not suspended, however—and was then later reinvited. CBS also instituted a time-delay censor to make sure the American public wouldn't have to see anything so disturbing to them.

Fallout also caused shows like ER, a medical drama, to have to censor an episode containing an in-context brief glimpse of an 80-year-old patient's breast. Additionally, JC Chasez (who had also been in the band N'Sync with Justin, but was not part of the Super Bowl performance) had a performance cancelled for fears that he might also have questionable choreography (ie. "mess with us, and we hurt your friends as well").

Even the Bush Administration released a statement decrying the act. Aparently, in America, it's OK to show live footage of people being killed, but a pierced breast deserves millions in fines and even criminal charges.

Accusations of Satanism

As if everything you've read above isn't ridiculous enough, ten days after the event the following press release was put out by "Satan Busters," a Christian group far more likely to be driven by acts of parody than acts of faith.

Janet Jackson Satanic Sex Cult Shocker—
Compelling Evidence has emerged that Janet Jackson's Super Bowl Nipple Exposure Might Be Evidence of a Satanic Sex Cult Conspiracy.
February 11 2004—
On February 1st, as an estimated 130 million unsuspecting Americans tuned in, the Super Bowl half-time show was turned into a perverted Pagan burlesque show. Janet Jackson's X-Rated spectacle is being dismissed as a publicity stunt, but the close examination of the facts reveals something far more sinister.
Super Bowl Sunday, February 1st, was also the traditional Pagan/Satanic holiday of Candlemass or Imboloc. The rites traditionally called for young women to parade around town naked invoking the spirit of Pagan saint Brighid or Brigit (pronounced BREE) in an effort to bring on lactation in farm animals. Brigit was also revered as the goddess of spring and represented by the sun. A close examination of the footage shows a bare breasted Janet Jackson with a strange sun ornament piercing her nipple, both clear references to this Satanic Occult ceremony. The public outcry seems to have largely missed the point. This act was not just about SEX, it was about SATANISM.
The Jackson family has a lengthy history of bizarre occult activities. These are frequently followed by public apologies, but only after the damage is done. The first evidence emerged as the tremendous success of brother Michael Jackson's Thriller was overshadowed by controversies surrounding the video of the title track. The Satanic melange of occult imagery was so explicit that he issued the following disclaimer before each screening "Due to my strong personal convictions I wish to stress that this film in no way endorses a belief in the occult." In April of 2003, Vanity Fair Magazine revealed that Michael Jackson does indeed believe in the occult and had paid $150,000 dollars to have a death curse put on filmmaker Steven Spielberg and 23 others. As part of the diabolical ceremony, 42 cows were slaughtered and Jackson bathed in the blood. This awful animal sacrifice was immortalized in the singer's hit song Blood on the Dance Floor. His troubles have continued with persistent allegations of ritualistic child molestation for which he is currently standing trial. Sister Latoya bravely broke ranks and revealed that the whole family had been abused by their father but has since gone back to the cabal and currently heads up Latoya Jackson's Psychic Network.
There are millions of practioners of Satanism worldwide. Estimates vary, but it has been suggested that as many as 60,000 people every year are victims of ritualistic satanic murder. With millions of records sold and millions of young minds corrupted, are the Jackson Family America's foremost purveyors of Satanism? Is the Prince of Pop closely aligned with the Prince of Darkness? Was Janet Jackson's halftime show the most highly rated Black Mass in history? The facts speak for themselves.
For more information: http://home.earthlink.net/~satanbusters/

This was then distributed on various forums and as an email chain letter ... While most people saw through it, a surprising number of people took this farce seriously.

The Stage

Janet Jackson-4.jpg

The stage used in the performance was later sold on eBay, with the seller writing:

This stage has done great things for me. The newspapers and TV did great stories about it which helped advertise my business and put me into an all new catagory. Boston channel 7 news did a story that was on TV during all the major news telecasts (6am, 6pm, 11pm) for over 6 days. The newspaper did front page stories and keeps doing them periodically. You can't buy that type of advertising. The stage has more than earned its purchase price 6 times over. People come from miles around to see it and consequently come into my store (Halloween Costume World and Haunted Mansion) and purchase items as well as tell their friends about the stage and my store. I was consequently hired by the Boston Red Sox Team the Lowell Spinners to have the stage displayed at one of their home games. The workmanship and the architectual design of this is awesome. Estimated cost to build this was $40,000. You can own it for a starting bid of $7,500. Now you can own a part of cultural history. Now is the time to have for your very own the stage that Janet Jackson used to decend into "infamy".

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