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Last Updated: Monday, 9 February, 2004, 08:55 GMT
Janet Jackson: Is the outrage justified?
When Janet Jackson revealed more than she intended during a half-time show at the Super Bowl, many in the US were up in arms in fury.

It was "the most disgusting thing that I have ever seen at a sports spectacle", baseball coach Tommy Lasorda said.

While the federal media watchdog called it a "classless, crass and deplorable stunt".

What do you think about the reaction? Are moral objections relevant in an age when sex and violence are all over screens? Should we complain about an indecent incident that was watched by millions of families?

This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

Your comments:

It's a product of its time and place
T. Pautler, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Without presuming to apply a moral standard to the Super Bowl "incident," I think this inappropriate and tasteless display sadly exemplifies the bankrupt state of American popular entertainment today: crude, vulgar, tacky, trivial, and sensational. Most of it is just noise... trivial gyrations masquerading as talent; sounds that emerge from the most squalid elements of street-gang culture. Why on earth would anyone be surprised by the content and character of the half-time "show"? It's a product of its time and place, pure and simple.
T. Pautler, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

I am not outraged by the JJ & Timberlake stunt at all. What is an outrage is the whole half-time show. It gets worse and worse every year - that is why I don't watch it live anymore. I only watch it on tape on see what the fuss is all about.
Andy, USA

Like they say: "There is no such thing as bad publicity".
Garth, Harare, Zimbabwe

The "Super Bowl" has been nothing but a media hype since its inception. It does not even matter what no-name teams are playing, it's all about the advertising and the American need for extravaganza! To quote an "old" British group's song, "you don't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need."
Charlie Ausley, Midland, Texas, USA

This topic was suggested by Marko V, UK:
Is America overreacting to Janet Jackson's Super Bowl stunt?

The whole half time show was disgusting to me. But apparently, I was not the intended audience. Janet's stunt was sort of like the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of the lyrics and the other crude suggestive body motions. The other performers were just as bad with their crotch grabbing and explicit lyrics. MTV and every major participant should be fined for the whole sickening event.
J Ernst, Atlanta, GA, USA

What is the uproar all about? How can anything that God created be so disgusting? Men go topless all the time what is the shame in woman doing the same. We have millions dying of aids in Africa and of starvation why not rather focus our attention on the things that really matters.
I Milne, Maun, Botswana

I don't see how it is such a big deal. It was on the screen for no more than two seconds! If you would have blinked you probably would have missed it. I think everyone is overreacting and needs to be more mature with the situation instead of crying about it.
Andrew, USA

This is so typical American double morale: People are suddenly offended by a breast while on the other hand video clips filled with women who are almost naked are viewed by millions of people and nobody ever complains. Sorry but I find that very hard to understand!!
Imran, Belgium

A bared breast alone does not define an "obscene act" but perhaps in the context of Janet and Justin's performance it does
Seumas, St. John's, Canada
Anyone expecting "family" entertainment from an MTV production have not, obviously, watched a music video for some time. A bared breast alone does not define an "obscene act" but perhaps in the context of Janet and Justin's performance it does. But is it any worse than the "crotch grabbing" or "gyrating g-strings" that is common place in videos produced by today's performers? I don't think so. Are American's being hypocritical and has too much attention been given to this stunt? Absolutely!
Seumas, St. John's, Canada

I think that rather than being offended by the body, we Americans should be outraged by the blatant sexuality shown in the suggestive dancing between Jackson and Timberlake. My family had four generations gathered to watch the Super Bowl, that show was not appropriate for family viewing. The Super Bowl "entertainment" proves American enterprise no longer values the family, it's all about demographic market appeasement.
Christin, Belleville, IL USA

I think it is ridiculous. Obviously it was planned but so what. Besides, you get rappers, kid rock, Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson for the halftime show, people see it advertised, did they think it was the Vienna boys choir? Lots of other bad things going on in this world that need attention. This think deserved about 10 seconds of attention.
Curt Paulson, Broomfield, USA

I grew up in a conservative town in Ohio. I am, frankly, more outraged at people who are disturbed by a bared breast than by the act. It shows that this country is still thinking in puritanical, oppressive, ways that were in vogue 300 years ago. A sense of shame in relation to sex is unhealthy. If sex were portrayed more often in the media and in public. to both children and adults, in a more respectful light, perhaps there'd be a lot less violence (both sexual and non sexual) in this country.
Paul Kolecki, New York, NY USA

The uproar from the same nation that has foisted the Jerry Springer show on the rest of the world can do nothing but confirm to all detached observer's the double standards and hypocrisy which seems to be everywhere in US society
David, Inverness, UK

Material like this is on American television everyday. Unfortunately, watching the Super Bowl, once a family-friendly event, is now another example of large corporations bypassing family viewing and targeting the young with graphic violence and sex. The entire half-time show was sexually explicit. No matter what the results are for the FCC's investigation, more of the same will be in store for next year's Super Bowl.
Tim, Bethesda, MD, USA

They are too young to process it in a mature way like an adult would
Genni, Manitoba, Canada
There is a whole lot of talk of "it was just a breast", "you see worse on TV" and "Oh the children...". You're right, it was just a breast. Kids these days are being bombarded with so much sexual imagery at such a young age. They are too young to process it in a mature way like an adult would. This has been my concern for many years and when I read articles about 11-12 yr old boys sexually assaulting 10 yr old girls, I begin to wonder why it only took Janet's right boob to make us question how far does "pushing the envelope" have to go before we start to realize we have to protect the children.
Genni, Manitoba, Canada

It was a nipple and a breast, all perfectly natural. I really don't understand what the big deal was it is about time adults grew up and stopped working themselves up over nothing. There are far more important things in life to worry about!
David, Egham

I'm surprised that so many Americans found Jackson's nudity so offensive, yet (in the context of American history) weren't offended by the image of a white man tearing away at the clothes of a black woman.
Grant, NYC, USA

I do not understand why there has been such an uproar at a 2-second flash of Janet's breast. Whether or not it was a publicity stunt, as a Janet fan I will support her all the way and hopefully, despite all the negative publicity, it will make people realise how infantile the American press are and boost sales of Janet's new album - out on March 30th by the way!
Darren Burn, Milton Keynes, UK

I live directly in the centre of "Heartland" USA, and have yet to meet anyone who cares in the slightest about this. This is an entirely media created hullabaloo. If you've ever wondered why Americans don't read newspapers and have little interest in the news, this is an excellent case in point.
David, Indianapolis, USA

Get a life! It's just a bosom - has no one explained the birds and the bees to these people? I like Justin's "wardrobe malfunction" excuse ...
Jonathan, Paris, France

Pathetic publicity stunt. Janet must be loving all the fuss just before her new album is released.
Katie, UK

It's not hypocritical of people - Americans or others - to be outraged. The Super Bowl is not a pornographic business; it is a sports enterprise. Stars, like Madonna, have been upping the ante in performance entertainment for years now and THAT business endorses and exploits sexist/violent performance concepts. The Super Bowl committee has said it won't be hiring MTV for its half time show again - a choice made with family public viewing in mind.
Sue, New Bedford, USA

Jackson and Timberlake should have an example made of them
One Outraged Mother, USA
The entire half time show was over the top and not appropriate for the range of audience viewing it or the time slot that it aired in. Jackson and Timberlake should have an example made of them and hopefully someone, somewhere will hold them accountable for subjecting a nation full of children to their crude, crass and indecent performance.
One Outraged Mother, USA

What a double standard! How is it that Victoria's Secret is allowed a prime-time slot for their 'fashion' show, while the few seconds of Janet's publicity stunt is creating an uproar? Funny thing is that my friends and I saw the half-time show, but didn't realize that anything out of the ordinary occurred. The next morning, we were attacked by the media with images of the bared breast. If the media had not chosen this controversy as one of the top stories of the week, the whole subject would have been forgotten and Janet's soon-to-be-released album will probably not do as well.
Dorothy, Philadelphia, USA

I do not understand what this world is coming to when the sight of, without question, one of the most beautiful women's, breasts should cause so much outrage. I am sure it would not have caused so much debate if she had been a mum breast feeding her infant on the number 12 bus. Keep your chin up Janet!
Daniel S, Lymington

One flash of a (rather nice, to give Janet her due) studded breast and the American nation turns to jelly (or should that be Jello?). And these people are the leaders of the free world? Be afraid, be very afraid!
Tim Austin

Is it any wonder we Americans think we're the centre of the world? It's hilarious that people from Sweden to Lebanon are compelled to comment on a US pop stunt. By the way, I live here and I haven't seen any hysteria or outrage. I don't know what you are imagining, but you would be very disappointed to see the reality.
Shawn, Washington, DC, USA

Thanks for the mammary
Mohamed-Amin, Kuwait
XXXVIII will be the last XXX-rated Super Bowl. So much furore over one WMD (Woman of Mass Distraction)! She ought to be busted. Thanks for the mammary.
Mohamed-Amin, Kuwait

So many comments that Americans should "grow up" or "get a life" over this incident! This from the same country in which a naked rambler was repeatedly arrested and locked up. And how many complaints were there about John Lydon's language on a post-watershed show? Don't be so quick to patronise...
David K-, Ilford, UK

SCHOCKING! Last summer I was on the beach and everywhere women with naked breasts - TWO naked breasts.
Christopher, Hamburg, Germany

I think that the 'uproar' is being media fed, but I do think that if Janet Jackson feels she needs to show her breast to be edgy, then I can only pity her. Isn't talent and the ability to give a great performance enough? I suppose it also reflects how out of touch she and Timberlake are with the real world. Sex is a commodity. Didn't she think that her brother is in trouble for sex related problems that she could be reinforcing an image of a family with inappropriate sexual behaviours. Yes all women have breasts, but not all women to further their careers or sell a product.
carol, Montreal, Canada

I think that we should complain about indecent incidents like this
Julie, Los Angeles, USA
Yea, this whole thing about JJ and JT, it's a nightmare. Where has respect for ANYTHING gone in our culture? I think that they should be more severely punished... and the NFL as well as far as being fined. That will ensure that the NFL will take a greater interest in their half time show in years to come. There is moral outrage in our country because of the media attention sex receives. I think that we should complain about indecent incidents like this as many children and families were watching this event. It's not a matter of what was shown, but the matter of how it was done...very indecent. If I ever had any respect for their talent (and I did, as they are both excellent dancers) I certainly do not anymore.
Julie, Los Angeles, USA

All this hoopla around Janet's breast bearing show goes on to show the double standards in the society. We all watch explicit scenes in movies in our cosy homes but when in public preach of modesty. One has to accept that these shows run on this kind of fuel and that's why you see these stars doing all those so called outrageous activities. We need to chuck this hypocrisy out of our public lives
Sumeet Tandon, New Delhi, India

I think people who are not outraged are under-reacting to the situation and they are probably the same people who are numb to nudity and sleaze because they spend their time watching lots of it on TV, the internet and in porn magazines. If we show so little concern for what our children are exposed to it will be to their detriment.
Jennifer, KC, USA

Breasts - 50% of the population have them. Get over it.
Nick Fraser, London, UK

Janet's action shows the extent of moral decadence in this society
Tunde, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Janet's action shows the extent of moral decadence in this society. This is one of the ills of a free society. A lot of adverts on our screens today also have similar trends. Janet can't be crucified most Americans love the act deep inside them.
Tunde, Halifax, Nova Scotia

If you think the average person here gives a hoot about Janet Jackson's anatomy you're kidding yourself. The picture makes interesting wallpaper on your PC though!
Nick, Colorado Springs, USA

I think the reaction was a typical example of American double standard. They show murders, sex and violence on TV every day and that's ok! What's the big deal about a breast? Beats me!
Ruth Einertsen, USA

I think that the greater issue here, which no one seems to be noting, is the way Timberlake was treating Jackson. It was a rather violent portrayal of women as an object of sex and nothing more. I think it's odd how a lot of people in the UK are commenting on this since a lot of them didn't stay up until 2 AM to watch the half-time show. The entire dance sequence between Jackson and Timberlake was rather over the top, if you ask me, and the breast was only the cherry-on top, so to speak.
Kazem Edmond, Boston, USA

A breast is one of the first sight most babies see. I really don't see how seeing one can harm anyone.
Anna, UK

Anna, UK - Using your logic, most babies also see a woman's private parts - I like your thinking!!!!
Lee, Hebburn, England

What's the big deal? Men show their chests freely! May be its time to challenge a few rules in the game!
Chris, Washington DC US

Children in the US are exposed everyday to worse things
Alex, Washington DC, USA
I think most Americans are overreacting. And to those parents worried about their children being exposed to Janet's breast... children in the US are exposed everyday to worse things such as "Jerry Springer", sex on ads (both on TV and print), sexually charged music lyrics and choreographies. If rappers grabbing their crotches when they sing is not immoral, but an accident that leads to breast exposure is an accident; then I think most Americans need to get in touch with reality.
Alex, Washington DC, USA

The USA never ceases to amaze me. How can this be causing such uproar in a country where there are thousands of deaths per year due to crazy gun laws as well as being engaged in dozens of other serious domestic and global scandals. I assume they don't have "Page 3" in the States.
John Keegans, Nottingham, UK

The outrage is a bit over the top but I must say they are both talented artists, they knew what they were doing it was a planned stunt. Janet was wearing something over her nipple which suggests she intended to show that object, slap wrists yes outrage no.
John Young, Chepstow Wales

I would have missed the nipple if it wasn't for the excellent media coverage. Too bad it's Janet Jackson's - I would have preferred Britney's or J-Lo's. To those who are shocked or feel that underdressed girls and American football don't belong together can maybe explain to me what the cheerleaders are for... Show Business is great isn't it?
Nicolas Kovacs, Munkfors, Sweden

What's the problem? a couple of seconds flash of boob? Every other person has them they're only boobs!
Jaq, UK

Sometimes it's easier for everyone if we forget that there are events of world importance happening and concentrate on trivial things in life, like a pop star's chest. Very boring, very irrelevant and a waste of news space.
Anna, England, UK

I was so shocked that I blew tea up my nostrils while the vicar fell off his chair.
Rich, UK

Probably a planned publicity stunt, but aren't there more important things to be outraged about in the USA? Like over 10000 people killed by gunfire every year, for example. Let's put things in perspective.
Carlo Broglia, Italy

If they can show live war on the news, I think Janet can show a breast
Kristian Abildskov, Brussels, Belgium (Dane)
Oh, come on! It is just a breast. Who ever died from seeing one of those? If they can show live war on the news, I think Janet can show a breast.
Kristian Abildskov, Brussels, Belgium (Dane)

Both Janet and Justin knew exactly what they were doing. This aspect of the show may not have been seen in the rehearsals but this was definitely planned. New album about to come out for Janet, how to better the Britney/Madonna kiss for Justin, what better way to increase your profile by using shock tactics. The "set up" theory is further backed up by JJ wearing nipple jewellery in the form of a star, why else wear this if it was not going to be seen! We should all make less fuss over such celebrities and they'll soon realise we don't care about they're attention seeking antics.
B Cooper, Edinburgh, Scotland

I personally was not offended or insulted by the sight of Ms Jackson's bare breast. What DID offend and insult me was MTV trying to tell me that it was an "accident"! How stupid do they think we are?!
Chrissie, Aberdeen, Scotland

Having watched the half time show I am wondering why the outrage is mainly directed at Janet Jackson's bid for attention, the whole show was a tasteless pathetic unmusical mish mash of the mediocre. The USA has an abundance of real talent to call upon. Where were they?
mabs smith, Toronto, Canada.

Whilst the incident is a storm in a C cup it does highlight the growing awareness people have of society's morals disappearing further and further. Maybe the moral outrage can lead to the media 'smartening up' rather than 'dumbing down' and appealing to the highest denominator rather than the lowest. But I'm not counting on it
Daniel Smith, London, England

I doubt she wears those spikes to the market
Laurel James, Hollywood, California
This was clearly planned and the photos make that very obvious. WHAT red bra?! That is just red lace trim sewn to the bustier. The nipple piercing/jewellery was disgusting and shows how well prepared for the revealing moment she was. I doubt she wears those spikes to the market... It is called PR to promote interest in her new album. If her talent, or lack of, does not sell her records then maybe her breast will?!? She is a cheap, disturbed woman and an even cheaper artist. How stupid does she assume the general public is?
Laurel James, Hollywood, California

Has anyone actually noticed that even though her breast was exposed that her nipple was actually covered? This leads me to assume this was no accident and even still I can't help but find the whole thing silly and funny. Really what is all the fuss about?
Verity, UK

For a country with a porn industry bigger than Hollywood and insane gun laws that results in thousands of deaths each year it is staggering that this fleeting glimpse of a breast can cause so much hysteria. You are quite quite mad!
Jules, UK

Get over it already! It was a breast! Here's the scoop: women have two of them!
SB, Lisbon, Portugal
Get over it already! It was a breast! Here's the scoop: women have two of them! I just plain hate the all, "I'm too prudish to be alive" routine. Children are subject daily to gratuitous violence, inflicted on them, or available on TV, cartoons, news, commercials that sell everything but the product they're advertising! From a country that iconized the likes of Madonna and called her a singer, really, get a life!
SB, Lisbon, Portugal

I can see where people are coming from on the outrage front - it was, after all, a family friendly event that Janet Jackson flashed at. I used to be a big fan of Janet Jackson, but lost interest after her last album, and I just think that it's really sad, and desperate that she felt she had to pull such a staged stunt to promote her new single and album.
Alistair Young, Uk

Americans please get a life - it's only a boob not WMD.
Name withheld, UK

So some folk got a two second glimpse of something half the world has two of anyway. Most nights they'd have to put up with the sight of dozens of people being killed, mugged, raped etc on the endless stream of cop shows, but that's OK. Perish the though that they should see a boob. A few of them make calls to the TV station, the anti-everything crowd jumps on the bandwagon and we're off and running. FCC enquiries, dropping her from future shows, mass phone-ins by all the wackos who have nothing better to do, senators crawling out of the woodwork to have their say, presidential hopefuls trying to get a bit of the action. Hello, hello everyone... this is reality calling... she has a record out next month... this is all free publicity... no-one got hurt... get a grip America.
John R Smith, UK

You don't get the same reaction here when a woman streaks at a sporting event
Matt R, Sandhurst, UK
I can't believe that a country that believes in the right for its citizens to bear arms; where children take guns into class; can be so outraged at the sight of a woman's breast.

WARNING: To any American thinking of coming to Europe this summer. Stay away from public parks and beaches. There will be breasts on show and we wouldn't want you poor souls to be offended!! You don't get the same reaction here when a woman streaks at a sporting event?
Matt R, Sandhurst, UK

Maybe Janet Jackson thought her amazing breast would draw media attention away from her brother!
Mike, Norfolk, USA

A sad state of affairs considering how much flesh all the cheerleaders were showing throughout their routines. America gets it wrong again!
Nico, UK

Tasteless maybe, but certainly not worth the public outcry staged in its aftermath
Alex, Berlin/Germany
A very obvious (and very successful) attempt to raise media attention before the release of a new record. Tasteless maybe, but certainly not worth the public outcry staged in its aftermath. Particularly in a country with such a discrepancy between media censorship (and public perception) of sexuality versus violence it strikes me as highly hypocritical. A single nipple shown makes a movie R-rated while 13-year-olds are allowed to watch in close-up and bloody detail how bullets tear through a human head!
Alex, Berlin/Germany

American hysteria over human anatomy is just pathological and sad. I am puzzled and baffled that a woman's breast on television would be turned into a forefront global issue.
Alice, France

So, a brief sight of a woman's breast is enough to reduce the American nation to a state of moral shock - what would the US do if the great British art of streaking at sporting events took off over there?
Lucy, Reading, UK

Perhaps the best thing to do is not to talk about it anymore. It'll help get that image off our heads.
Janet Paulin, Philippines/Australia

It says something dark about US culture that a flash of flesh is described as "indecent" and causes public outrage, yet movie after movie showing horrific violence and death are acceptable. When will these religious prudes understand? Human nudity is a natural and beautiful thing, violence is not.
Ian Lowe, Aridrie, Scotland

I find this hypocrisy & overreaction hard to swallow
Ian, New Cross, London
Ludicrous!! I'm not referring to the breast, but Americans. For a country that gave us Baywatch and has the largest pornographic industry in the world, I find this hypocrisy & overreaction hard to swallow.
Ian, New Cross, London

It's odd, given all the "outrage", that this has become the "Most paused and replayed moment" on US television, according to Tivo... It has also apparently become the most sought after thing on the web. Interesting, considering the number of people claiming to be offended by the scene...
Sean, London, UK

Not so long ago, a certain UK celebrity accidentally fell out of her dress while presenting an award at BAFTA ceremony. Was there outrage and calls of public indecency? No - people thought it hysterically funny. Are we in Europe maybe just less hypocritical than those in North America?
Carl, Liverpool, UK

I really don't get all the fuss. Surely you'd see a lot more flesh on the beach on the average summer holiday?
Chris, Surrey, England

Heaven forbid, then, that any moral, decent, god-fearing average US person see a Saturday Night prime time show on Italian TV, both state- and private-run. I personally think it's worse being forced near-nakedness in exceedingly skimpy outfits than what Janet did.
Sacha, Siena-Italy

I find it deeply worrying if Janet Jackson's breast is the most disgusting thing that coach Lasorda has seen at a sports spectacle. I don't remember this sort of outrage when 49ers defensive end Bryant Young broke his leg during the game against the New York Giants in 1998 despite numerous instant replays showing the leg fracturing. A lot of the people complaining loudest about nudity on TV are from the Christian right. Have these people forgotten why Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden?
Mark Ritchie, Edinburgh, Scotland

Basically the American attitude seems to be that it's OK to kill, maim, show warfare live on TV, but to reveal a female breast is a crime of the highest order. I'm so glad they have such a great perspective on these things!
Giles, Chelmsford, UK

It is the abuse of the spotlight for a publicity stunt
Michael, USA
It is not so much an issue about a breast, as it is the abuse of the spotlight for a publicity stunt. While most Americans scoffed at the silly "Brit" who was running around in his underwear, they had to admire his entrepreneurial spirit. Contrast the two events and you will come much closer to American perception. One was an insult, the other was a seized opportunity.
Michael, USA

Are Americans mad or is it just their media!? It was a breast; half the world's population has them. Go to the beach or along Bourbon Street, in New Orleans, and you're bound to see some. It was a shameless publicity stunt, yes, and the fact that we're all talking about it means it has worked. But why the outrage?
S Davis, UK

What happened on that stage is nothing compared to what is on TV this days. People should stop pretending to be moralists when they still allow their kids to the net and TV. There are much more dirty stuff than just one breast. So please stop moaning about trivial things and focus on the real issues affecting young people these day.
Bablo Lushaba, Durban, South Africa

It's not the sight of a limp right breast which offends. It's the crassness of the publicity stunts pop stars are so eager to pull. It was all such a pathetic cry for attention.
Michelle, Malta

You folks in USA ought not to worry about Janet's breast, but worry about the one in the Whitehouse, who truly is a classless, crass and deplorable stunt..
Os, Bristol, UK

Aren't there enough things to be concerned about such as: environmental issues, endangered animals traffic, war, etc. than worrying about a woman's breast showing on television?
Adriana, Amsterdam, NL

The case against nudity is not about being indecent but most of the time about being unsightly. This occurrence is a good illustration.
Paul, Bremen, Germany

I think this action was planned because sometimes also negative PR campaign is good for CD's sale.
john, Estonia

You know the world is in trouble when Janet's breast competes in importance in world news headlines with the Bird Flu epidemic, and war in Iraq - now that truly IS disgusting!!
Agata, Cape Town, South Africa

To most Africans seeing a breast is a non-event
Matt Buys, Joburg, South Africa
To most Africans seeing a breast is a non-event. In this regard, there's more equality here in Africa than in the liberty conscious USA. After all, males also possess breasts and nipples. It's high time for the puritans in the "west" to desexualise the female breast.
Matt Buys, Joburg, South Africa

I find it highly disturbing that when there are questions in the US over the reasons for going to war in Iraq, the issue getting the most attention is the brief exposure of a nipple on national television. Priorities anyone?
Tom Cosgrave, Dublin, Ireland

So a singer used her body to sell her album? Well, that's never happened before! How confused are some of the people the USA? They create and consume war, television, sport, MTV, celebrity, publicity stunts and pornography by the bucket load, but with one flash of breast and they are in shock and awe. When will this country stop over-reacting? Calm your boots America!!
Tony, Bristol, UK

I think it's totally disgusting and not because I'm some hypocritical religious fanatic but because Janet thinks everyone wants to watch her, but not everyone wants to watch her exposing herself!!
David Hilton, Hudds, UK

The Americans are acting like Taliban with this hysteria over one breast. And yet, the most horrendous porno and violence come from the very same country. I would say: grow up!
Sirkku, Finland

The furore was what Janet was hoping for. I bet it will surely help the sales of her new album. But the reaction in the US is quite strange as being the country that makes billions by selling sex and violence throughout the world, including the starving third world countries, through it's TV shows and movies.
Syeed Milky, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Millions of kids have seen a breast, some of them so young they are still nursing!!!
Hugo, Brazil
How revolting! Millions of kids have seen a breast, some of them so young they are still nursing!!! Given the public outcry, I suggest appointing a zealous "Guardian of the Nation" council inspired by Iran to preserve morality and family values. This was actually more about bad taste than anything else...
Hugo, Brazil

I wish everybody would please calm down! Let's face it: Nobody has suffered any serious mental, physical, psychic consequences because of this, or have they? If they have, then they are growing up in the wrong environment.

If there is anything to get worried about that might upset the moral, religious, political, and social right-wingers and conservatives, how about looking into the sleaze and sordidness of the violence being perpetrated in the name of so-called freedom? Not just in Iraq, in Afghanistan, but on our own doorsteps?
Oliver Koehler, Delhi, India

What a world... A fleeting glimpse of the anatomy of a beautiful woman (who couldn't have been more covered otherwise, by the way) raises all this furore, while nobody seems bothered by the 3 hours of aggression and violence that surrounds it. The violence is just good-ol'-boy "sport". The art and beauty is "despicable". Grow up, America.
Mike, Des Moines, USA

This whole thing was so set up its laughable. Just found out that, surprise surprise, Janet Jackson has a new album coming out! The record company knew this would put her in the headlines and that's why they set it up. To those who always jump out of the woodwork at times like this, you're doing exactly what they want you to do!
B Thomas, UK

My daughter, being comfortable with nakedness wasn't fazed at all
Monica, California

My family and I, who includes my 4 year old daughter, were watching the Super Bowl show. It was such a short flash that we all wondered if it was real or not. My daughter, being comfortable with nakedness wasn't fazed at all. I'd rather have her see a boob over some of the violence and sex seen on TV today. Nevertheless, it was a publicity stunt gone bad.
Monica, California, USA

When I arrived in France many years ago and experienced the beach and poolside attitude of many women here, I called my Dad on the phone and told him France was the best place on Earth! Bodies are all over the place here, so much so that I hardly blink an eye anymore, you can imagine how the people here are laughing, especially when you know that in the US they have a big sex industry!
Torohia Skoro, Paris, France

The media attention in this incident puzzles me. It was just a tasteless commercial act. On the other hand the uproar created by great exposure on national TV is hypocrisy. Just look who much money Americans and Europeans spend on pornography, usually by the same people who were offended by Janet incident. Everybody should take a deep breath and think about real issues such as the growing number of Americans dying in Iraq for nothing.
Paul, Philadelphia, PA

TV feeds a constant diet of murder, extreme violence, drug abuse & crime on a daily basis, often leaving little to the imagination in terms of special effects. I hardly think a quick flash of breast is anything to worry about compared to that!
David Priddy, Slough, UK

I am clearly outraged. She has TWO lovely globes and we were only blessed to see one. What is this world coming to? Where's the justice?
Roy H, OH US

I understand that people are upset that children may have seen Janet's "wardrobe malfunction". I just want to know why it took that to upset them. There was plenty of time after Nelly was basically showing his underwear and Kid Rock came out in a CUT American Flag to decide that the Halftime Show may not be suitable for all viewers. Besides that, the entire song Justin Timberlake was singing was about seducing someone. Why did it take her showing her breast to make people so upset?
Kathy, Granite Falls, NC

Sadly, America is not the "God-fearing nation" that it would like everyone to believe. The Super Bowl performance was just one aspect of the many, many ways America has turned into a nation of sleaze. From Commercials, to shows, sitcoms, movies and now, yes even the Super Bowl, we Americans continually show how crass, indecent, and hypocritical we really are.
Lisa Zeigler, Lansdale USA

The Super Bowl is too boring for me, even when they're showing nipples
Jean Desjardins, Montreal, Canada
It did not offend me because I haven't watched a Super Bowl since 1988. The Super Bowl is too boring for me, even when they're showing nipples.
Jean Desjardins, Montreal, Canada

So called celebrities are sinking lower and lower in their attempts to gain more publicity for themselves. The Super Bowl is a family affair and it's not right to turn it into something sleazy and sordid by this act by Justin Timberlake. We must hold these people accountable before they totally corrupt our young. It's complacency that is the problem and the button gets pushed farther and farther. Where will it end? Next you'll see real or simulated sex on the half time show. Shame on them both and yes, outrage is justified.
Patricia Martchenko, Toronto, Canada

The sight of her breast simply topped off a performance that I did not expect to see during a Super Bowl half time performance. It only added to the shock. That whole performance belonged on cable.
Carol, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

I cannot believe that this stunt is getting so much publicity. If people are so afraid of nudity, then why do TV stations show Victoria's Secret commercials or even body lotion commercials. People need to get a grip and realize that the state of the world today is not hanging by the exposure of Janet Jackson's right breast.
Linda Adami, Boston, USA

I think there is a time and place for everything. I don't think the time or place was at the Super Bowl where millions of young boys and girls are watching the show. It was in appropriate behaviour for children to witness. We as adults are suppose to set an example of public behaviour. If this is Janet's idea of adult behaviour, we have a problem.
Terry Jennings, Fort Worth, TX USA

Most children have been exposed to a breast much earlier in their lives. It's called breastfeeding!
CMR, Chicago, USA
Folks...relax already. Janet did it for one reason... to get publicity Madonna style. She's obviously getting it. As far as exposing children, PLEASE! Most children have been exposed to a breast much earlier in their lives. It's called breastfeeding! Children will only make a big deal of it if they see adults making a big deal of it. So set an example and stop acting as if it's a mortal sin! What exactly are you worried will happen by this exposure anyway? Will children now turn into vicious criminals because they may have seen a breast?
CMR, Chicago, USA

To CMR, Chicago: You're kidding right? What child or adult remembers being breast-fed? I suppose it is OK to tell children it is normal for a man to rip off a woman's top in public.
Mike H, USA

The only reason these performers go for these tacky stunts is that they know they'll get more air time ... stop calling them sensational, treat them for what they are, cheap and boring and not worth even more than one line on a back page somewhere.
Leizabeth, Baltimore, USA (Brit!)

If there is any problem, it is a society problem and not an issue of individuals. Janet, her brother and Justin Timberlake were made stars by the nation who is now blaming them for their behaviour. So, one should not be outraged by these people but by the nation who originally glorified them.
Chadi Bou Habib, Lebanon

The suggestion that this was deliberate is understandable, but to infer that the performers were deliberately trying to corrupt the morals of the public is ridiculous. There was more naked flesh on show in the Super bowl adverts than in Ms Jackson's performance. Where is the outcry about that?
Furthermore, the performers have admitted that the stunt was a mistake - Justin was supposed to reveal Janet's red lace bra and nothing more. There are pictures of Janet looking genuinely shocked and even frightened. Funnily enough, these haven't been seen much in the media. I wonder why?
Timothy, UK

It can't have been anything other than a sleazy stunt
Sar, Belgium
Yes the outrage is justified; had it been simply a boob popping out one might have been prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt - but Justin Timberlake tampering with her top and then when the boob pops out - so does a great silver chunk of nipple jewellery? Come on...it can't have been anything other than a sleazy stunt. I'm sure people didn't go to the Super Bowl to see that!
Sar, Belgium

In unrelated news: Janet Jackson has a new album coming out in March
Ellen, Hawaii

I have to agree with Chris in Chicago. We are making such a huge fuss over Janet and Justin - oh the horror, young children saw a breast! But nobody objected to the frank dialog in the commercials for erectile dysfunction?
Regina, Charlotte, NC USA

If anything positive results from all of this, I hope Ms. Jackson is able to put the erectile dysfunctional people out of business.

Get over it! What about all the adverts for erectile dysfunction we're forced to watch?
Chris, Chicago, US

Having lived in the UK and USA I have grown to like the UK watershed 9:00pm style of self moderation. In the USA all the sitcoms, adverts and cartoons even, have some form of sexual connotation. I watched the Super Bowl and wondered how I was going to explain erectile dysfunction to my 10 year old daughter. Its about time there was a watershed in USA as well.
John Wilson, USA

For a country at war and pending an election you would think Americans would have more important things to talk about
Glen Herbert, Canada
The event itself was hilarious, and the outrage it has caused is bewildering. For a country at war, and pending an election that could begin the process of getting them out of it, you would think Americans would have more important things to talk about.
Glen Herbert, Toronto, Canada

The problem with Janet Jackson baring her breast was that it was during the dinner hour in many areas of the country. Young children were still awake. With all the sleaze shown on cable and satellite stations, particularly after-hours, parents rightly expect that their children will not be subjected to gratuitous displays of flesh in the early evening hours of televised programming. Perhaps adults can handle the nightly onslaught of televised sex and violence, but children should be protected until they're older.
Chris, US

Can Chris in the US please tell me at which point in the procedings was there 'gratuitous displays of flesh' . One obscured breast is not gratuitous. You and some of your fellow countrymen really need to lighten up. Also, please tell me why a movie where someone is sucking on a breast gets a X-rating but someone hacking off a breast gets a PG! Mild sexual content or extreme violence. Which has a greater influence on our children...discuss!
Glenn Lawrence, UK. London

At first I was outraged that they would pull such a stunt. But then when I realized it was a plan that went bad, I felt they both got their just desserts and hope they feel completely humiliated and embarrassed. It was wrong for either of them to not disclose their plans. I hope their careers go sour.
Leigh, Rowlett, TX USA

I am amazed at the pretended outcry in the US. This God-fearing nation sadly leads the way as the most materialistic; glamorising and holding aloft all things sensual.
Alex, Israel

This is just another example of pornification
Barry, Cardiff, Wales
Yes the outrage is justified. There is an increasing pornification of the music business by some performers, being skimpily clad and gyrating evocatively. This is just another example of that pornification.
Barry, Cardiff, Wales

The human body is not something we should consider as disgusting, it was only a breast and not even the nipple was exposed so it is hard to see where offence is caused, we should learn to laugh at such silliness.
P. Corbett, Brighton, England

I think that naturally some people, particularly anyone with children will be outraged by the act at half-time. I personally feel that since it was not an actual bare breast (the nipples were covered) then the outfit, even with the torn away section is not much worse than some of the skimpy bikini's that you can see on TV. I think that people should be attacking Janet for her actions and not the networks. It was her decision to do such an act, and since she knows that families were watching she should show more responsibility and respect for 'ALL' the viewers of America.
Christopher Fullerton, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Inquiry into Janet Jackson flash
03 Feb 04  |  Entertainment


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