Shocks, Yawns Over Janet Jackson's Breast

ByABC News
February 2, 2004, 3:00 PM

Feb. 3, 2004 -- So what if Super Bowl viewers saw a little more of Janet Jackson than they expected?

Justin Timberlake and Jackson were finishing a steamy duet of "Rock Your Body" during Super Bowl XXXVIII's halftime show Sunday when he reached across her leather outfit and pulled off a section of her bodice. Jackson's right breast the nipple masked by a sun-shaped, metallic decoration was exposed to an estimated 89.6 million viewers. CBS quickly cut away from the shot as she began covering up.

Shouldn't we be used to this kind of thing? The same-sex kiss between Britney Spears and Madonna on MTV's Music Video Awards show was not all that long ago, and sometimes it seems Spears' fashion sense is just a little tamer than Jackson's boob-popping incident.

Television in 2004 has come a long way since The Ed Sullivan Show refused to show Elvis' swiveling pelvis back in the 1950s. Between seeing David Caruso and then Dennis Franz bare rear ends on NYPD Blue to the popularity of HBO's violent and vulgar The Sopranos, we should be used raunchy behavior and skin on television these days, right?

"I think people have become indifferent to these kinds of things," said Damien Cave, an associate editor at Rolling Stone. "They see Janet, they see Britney and Madonna kiss, and say, 'Yeah, OK. Who cares?' I think it's becoming more difficult [for artists] do something that's creative and says something about them as an artist. Something like this [story] is going to go away real quick."

The Worst Publicity: No Publicity

The Federal Communications Commission and CBS executives were not so indifferent and apparently, neither were some Super Bowl watchers. The Super Bowl is the most-watched sports spectacle in the country by both adults and children.