More than five years after Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” shocked millions of Americans watching Super Bowl XXXVIII with a flash of nudity, Nipplegate continues to live on, in the courts. After an appeals court last year threw out the $550,000 fine CBS owed the FCC, the Supreme Court announced today that the case will be reviewed again to see if CBS is indeed responsible for the incident. The Supreme Court’s ruling comes just one week after they upheld FCC policy that levies fines for any and all curses on live television, even if it’s just a one-time outburst, the AP reports.
CBS’s fine was tossed by a lower court last year, which found that the Super Bowl incident was “fleeting” as it lasted a mere 9/16ths of a second. Per the BBC, 90 million viewers were watching the halftime show when Justin Timberlake tore off a piece of Jackson’s bra near the end of his “Rock Your Body”; CBS received 542,000 complaints.
The Supreme Court has asked Philadelphia’s 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals to consider reinstating the fine. CBS said in a statement that they were confident the court would again find in their favor and drop the fine, arguing the network could not have anticipated what ultimately happened onstage between Jackson and Timberlake.
Since 2004’s famous “wardrobe malfunction,” the Super Bowl has stuck to classic rockers unlikely to spontaneously disrobe for its half-time shows, inviting Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and most recently Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band onto its stage.