A Knoxville, Tenn., woman has filed a federal class-action suit against Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, CBS, MTV and the networks’ corporate parent, Viacom, over Jackson’s breast-baring performance Feb. 1 at the Super Bowl. The MTV-produced event was broadcast by CBS.
The action was filed yesterday (Feb. 5) in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Tennessee by Terri Carlin on behalf of “all American citizens who watched the outrageous conduct which occured during the Super Bowl halftime show.”
Carlin alleges that the defendants “included in the halftime show sexually explicit acts designed solely to garner publicity and, ultimately, to increase profits for themselves.” It further claims that they “collaborated to commit and/or broadcast outrageous and lewd acts at a time when [they] knew that millions of American families would be watching.”
The action alleges that the defendants’ conduct violated Federal Communications Commission regulations. It implies that since the incident was telecast internationally, members of the plaintiff class were defamed and “suffered injuries and damages to their reputations as Americans,” and also claims the defendants breached real and implied contracts.
The suit seeks compensatory damages “not to exceed the gross receipts generated by each defendant during the Super Bowl and Super Bowl halftime show” and punitive damages “not to exceed the total of the gross annual revenues of each defendant for the last three years prior to the filing of [the] action.”
Spokespersons for Viacom and CBS had no comment on the suit. An MTV spokeswoman did not return a call seeking comment, and representatives of Jackson and Timberlake could not be reached.