Tito, Marlon and Jackie Jackson appeared on Andy Cohen’s SiriusXM Radio Andy show on Wednesday (May 12) to talk about their embrace of Justin Timberlake‘s apology to their sister Janet. Cohen asked the brothers to react to Timberlake’s public apology in February to both former girlfriend Britney Spears and Jackson, the latter for the seeming pass he got from the music industry and media in the wake of the fallout from his 2004 Super Bowl halftime performance with Janet commonly referred to as “Nipple-gate.”
“First of all, I just want to thank Justin Timberlake. … It takes a man to step up and do that, so we do thank him,” Marlon told Cohen about Timberlake’s long-coming mea culpa for the halftime show in which he exposed his co-star’s breast on live TV, which resulted in Jackson getting uninvited from that year’s Grammy Awards and having her videos pulled from Viacom properties including MTV, CBS and Infinity Broadcasting.
“But we’d like to move forward because that was out there, the negativity about it,” Marlon added. “As they say in the old days, ‘Long as they’re talking about you, good or bad, you still in the public’s eye.'”
Following the so-called “wardrobe malfunction,” Timberlake went on to appear at that year’s Grammys, where he issued an apology, and headlined the SB halftime show again in 2018, while Jackson has never been invited back.
“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 said in his apology, which he had posted to his Instagram account. “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.”
Jackie said he thought the apology — which Saturday Night Live poked fun at — meant “a whole lot” to the family given how much it hurt their younger sister and hung over her for years to come. In a 2006 Oprah Winfrey interview Janet was asked if she felt that Timberlake had “left her hanging” in the incident. ”
“To a certain degree, yeah,” she said, noting that she felt the emphasis was put on her “as opposed to us” after the reveal. To this day, it remains somewhat unclear if the exposure was part of the choreography meant to shock or if it was truly an accident, though Jackson told Winfrey that “more came off than was supposed to.”
Watch the Jackson brothers’ interview below.