FCC Loses Janet Jackson Super Bowl Case
CBS won't be fined $550,000 for Janet Jackson's 2004 wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl XXXVIII broadcast, an appeals court ruled.
According to The Wrap, Philadelphia's 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the FCC wrongly fined Jackson and the network for the half-time show performance, which accidentally exposed the singer's breast. Her outfit was torn by Justin Timberlake in a moment seen by over 90 million television viewers.
The court said the FCC's decision was made "arbitrarily and capriciously." The government agency was reportedly disappointed by the ruling, while CBS spokeswoman Shannon Jacobs saw it as a chance for the FCC to "return to the policy of restrained indecency enforcement it followed for decades."
The case's apparent conclusion comes after years of conflicting decisions: the 3rd Circuit Court initially voided the fine in 2008, a ruling vacated by the Supreme Court the next year. The case was subsequently returned to the 3rd Circuit. Other recently televised incidents, including awards show profanities from Bono and Cher, have also escaped fines thanks to a lower court decision--a matter currently under review by the Supreme Court.
After years of classic rockers, there will be plenty of opportunities for wardrobe malfunctions at the 2012 Super Bowl: Madonna will reportedly headline the half-time show, with an assist from M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj on her upcoming single.