FCC Blasts Super Bowl Breast

Chair Michael Powell "outraged" at Justin, Janet stunt

February 2, 2004 12:00 AM ET

The Federal Communications Commission today took aim at those involved in yesterday's Super Bowl halftime show, which featured a peek at Janet Jackson's bared breast after Justin Timberlake tore away a piece of her outfit.

FCC Chairman Michael Powell said he was outraged by the event's proceedings. "Like millions of Americans, my family and I gathered around the television for a celebration," he said. "Instead, that celebration was tainted by a classless, crass and deplorable stunt. Our nation's parents and citizens deserve better."

At Powell's urging, the FCC has opened an investigation into the broadcast to see if any regulations were broken. "Our investigation will be thorough and swift," he promised.

Those involved in the halftime program have mostly shied away from responsibility. Timberlake issued a quick apology and called the incident a "wardrobe malfunction," while MTV, the halftime show's producer, called it "unrehearsed, unplanned, completely unintentional and inconsistent with assurances we had about the content of the performance." CBS also claimed that the flash of breast was unplanned, but a source for the network told the Drudge Report that it had received executive approval. In the week prior to the Super Bowl, Jackson's choreographer Gil Duldulao told MTV that some "shocking moments" could be expected during the program.

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