Court throws out Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction fine

August 2008


This is a tad embarrassing for the US’s Federal Communications Commission. Their $550,000 fine against broadcaster CBS for broadcasting Janet Jackson’s ‘wardrobe malfunction’ at the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show when she performed with Justin Timberlake has been ruled to have been made “arbitrarily and capriciously” by a three judge panel of the 3 rd US Circuit Court of Appeals. The 90 million people watching the Super Bowl, many of them children, heard Justin Timberlake sing, “Gonna have you naked by the end of this song,” as he reached for Jackson’s bustier and then saw fleeting nudity. The court found that the FCC deviated from its nearly 30-year practice of fining indecent broadcast programming only when it was so “pervasive as to amount to ‘shock treatment’ for the audience.” “Like any agency, the FCC may change its policies without judicial second-guessing,” the court said. “But it cannot change a well-established course of action without supplying notice of and a reasoned explanation for its policy departure

No Comments

Comments are closed.