Tom Brady Faces Backlash for Calling Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl Wardrobe Malfunction a ‘Good Thing for the NFL’

Tom Brady Faces Backlash for Calling Janet Jackson Super Bowl Malfunction ‘Good’

om Brady and Janet Jackson.   Shutterstock

Called out! Tom Brady is facing backlash after saying that Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show worked in the NFL’s favor.

The retired quarterback, 45, made the comments during the Monday, February 13, episode of his “Let’s Go” podcast.

“I think in the end, it was probably a good thing for the NFL because everyone got to talk about it,” Brady said. “It was just more publicity and more publicity for halftime shows.”

The California native continued: “Is any publicity bad publicity? That’s what they say, so who knows?”

The athlete’s remarks were met with criticism from social media users who argued Brady downplayed the negative treatment that Jackson, 56, faced as a result of the infamous performance in which Justin Timberlake ripped part of the “All for You” singer’s costume to reveal her mostly uncovered right breast.

“Janet Jackson faced public humiliation and outright misogynoir resulting in her getting blacklisted by the former CEO of CBS, but Tom Brady thinks all of that was OK because all publicity is good publicity. Sick,” one Twitter user wrote, alluding to Les Moonves allegedly developing a “years-long fixation” on punishing Jackson, per a September 2018 HuffPost report.

Another person chimed in: “So, a Black woman’s career and reputation is damaged and she was taunted for a number of years by the mainstream media but you know what, it was good for the NFL?! Clearly too many knocks to his head.”

In November 2021, FX released an installment of its New York Times Presents series about the scandal and the different treatment that Jackson and Timberlake, 42, received in its wake.

Tom Brady Faces Backlash for Calling Janet Jackson Super Bowl Malfunction ‘Good’

Rhona Wise/EPA/Shutterstock

“In 2004, a culture war was brewing when the Super Bowl halftime show audience saw a white man expose a Black woman’s breast for 9/16ths of a second. A national furor ensued,” a press release for the documentary stated. “‘If the culture wars could have a 9/11, it’s February 1st, 2004,’ said one observer. The woman was Janet Jackson, and her career was never the same. The man was Justin Timberlake; his stardom only grew.”

Earlier that year, Timberlake issued a public apology to both the “Scream” songstress and his ex Britney Spears after the New York Times Presents “Framing Britney Spears” episode debuted. The February 2021 documentary suggested that the “SexyBack” musician fueled rumors that Spears, now 41, cheated on him during their relationship. The pair split in 2002 after four years of dating.

“I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right. I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism,” Timberlake wrote via Instagram at the time.

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

Jackson, for her part, opened up about the aftermath of the incident for the first time in January 2022.

“Honestly, this whole thing was blown way out of proportion,” she said during part 2 of her Janet Jackson Lifetime documentary. “And, of course, it was an accident that should not have happened, but everyone is looking for someone to blame and that’s gotta stop. Justin and I are very good friends and we will always be very good friends.”

The pop icon added that she and Timberlake have both “moved on and it’s time for everyone else to do the same.”

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