As you might recall, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson took the stage during the Super Bowl halftime show back in 2004 and no one could have predicted the controversy that would ensue. And all these years later, the conversation around "Nipplegate" is hotter than ever. On Sunday, it was announced that Timberlake will take the stage again during the February 2018 game — and now the NFL is addressing long-held speculation that Jackson (whose breast was exposed when she performed with Timberlake all those years ago) is banned from performing at the show.
"There’s no ban. We are not going to comment on any speculation regarding potential guests. There may be no guests. Along with Pepsi, we’re excited to have Justin Timberlake. Like the elite NFL players who can run, catch, and block, Justin can do it all — sing, dance, act, and entertain," the NFL said in a statement, via ABC News. "He’s the ultimate global superstar who we know will put on an entertaining and unifying show that will appeal to the massive worldwide audience."
Jackson's fans were quick to react to the Timberlake news using the hashtag #JusticeForJanet. They pointed out that Timberlake's booking seemed unfair since he also played a role in "Nipplegate" — when he exposed her breast during their performance after he pulled fabric off her outfit during their rendition of “Rock Your Body." When it was announced days ago that Justin would again perform at the Super Bowl, he was asked about the incident and reportedly said, "That won't happen this time."
This year's show will take place on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and sources tell Entertainment Tonight that Jackson wouldn't rule out appearing with him on stage. “The door is wide open,” the insider shared. “If Justin or his team did reach out, Janet would perform with him again in a minute.”