Jackson brothers applaud Justin Timberlake’s apology to Janet

Marlon and Jackie Jackson appreciated the apology from Timberlake 17 years after that infamous Super Bowl incident.

Legendary singing-group kin Marlon and Jackie Jackson applauded the apology from Justin Timberlake to their superstar sister, Janet Jackson, which came 17 years after the infamous incident during the pair’s 2004 Super Bowl halftime performance. 

The brothers from the Jackson Five were guests on Andy Cohen Live on SiriusXM, where they were asked their opinions on Timberlake’s statement, which he made following February’s airing of the Framing Britney Spears documentary on FX and Hulu. 

Janet Jackson (left) and surprise guest Justin Timberlake perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII in February 2004 in Houston. At the end of their performance, he tore away a piece of her outfit. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

On Instagram, Timberlake posted he was “deeply sorry” for the times in his life when he “contributed to the problem” of misogyny and racism. 

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

“I just want to thank Justin Timberlake,” Marlon Jackson, 64, told Cohen. “It takes a man to step up and do that, so we do thank him for doing that.”

He said he would “like to move forward” beyond the “negativity” of the incident. 

“It was nice that he did something like that because it kind of hurt Janet, you know, in the past,” Jackie Jackson, 70, said. “So for him to step up and say that, it means a whole lot.”

In February of 2004, Janet Jackson and surprise-guest Timberlake performed during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII, and at the end of their stage spectacle, he tore away part of Jackson’s costume, exposing her breast and pierced nipple. 

The episode became an epic controversy, and the FCC fined CBS more than half a million dollars. Jackson ultimately appeared to bear the majority of the blame for the stunt.

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In 2006, Oprah Winfrey asked Jackson if she felt Timberlake had left her “out there hanging;” she replied, “to a certain degree.” She said the controversy “put all the emphasis on me, as opposed to us.” 

The successful solo Jackson sister’s career may have been negatively impacted by the incident, but her legions of fans make #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay an annual tweeting trend on Super Bowl Sunday. She recently shared a video on Twitter in which she thanked them for supporting her and making her first album, 1986’s Control, a number-one hit on its 35th anniversary.

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