While Levine’s strip show didn’t result in a nationwide uproar like the original Nipplegate, more than 50 viewers filed complaints to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about the musician’s nipples, according to The Hollywood Reporter, who obtained documentation on Friday.
“I want him banned, just like they did Janet,” one consumer from Boise, Idaho wrote to the FCC; in fact, many of the complaints were filed by those who questioned why Jackson was rebuked for her accidental “wardrobe malfunction” yet Levine’s intentional disrobing went unpunished.
Another consumer from Lakewood, New York wrote that Maroon 5 “should be met with twice the consequences” that Jackson faced for the “wardrobe malfunction.”
“I am writing because I am upset about the half-naked stripper on stage of the halftime show,” a Fremont, California viewer wrote.
The FCC also received more than two dozen complaints from parents who were mad that their children had to see the trailer for Jordan Peele’s forthcoming horror film Us, which aired a Super Bowl ad.
In a letter to THR, Nancy Stevenson, FCC deputy chief for the consumer policy division, said that “the agency isn’t required to keep records of informal complaints for more than three years,” meaning the records of consumer complaints about Jackson have been discarded.
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When the incident occurred back in 2004, it was reported that more than 500,000 people filed complaints with the FCC. A fine of $550,000 was even issued by the FCC, but was later thrown out after a legal battle that almost ended up at the Supreme Court. Jackson took on the blame for the situation while Timberlake essentially walked away without any repercussions.