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Janet Jackson Supreme Court Case: 'Wardrobe Malfunction' Could Cost Network $550,000

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By Daniel Distant, Christian Post Reporter
April 19, 2012|4:33 pm

Janet Jackson's infamous wardrobe malfunction in 2004 may go through a lengthy process in the Supreme Court. The FCC originally charged CBS $550,000 for Jackson's exposure, but now it seems the fines may not hold up in court.

Though Janet Jackson herself may never appear in Supreme Court, her briefly exposed breast during Super Bowl halftime could certainly cost CBS dearly- they've been fighting the ruling ever since. In November, a federal appeals court found that the Federal Communication Commission's sanctions were not lawful, however, so network executives were no doubt relieved.

Still, the FCC has requested that the case be retried by the Supreme Court after being rejected by another court in January. That judge found that the FCC's actions had been established "arbitrarily and capriciously," according to CNN, because "the commission did not give the media companies proper prior warning about subsequent changes in its enforcement policies."

Then, the court was pointing out that the FCC's policies had changed only a month after Jackson's notorious exposure- after, they slapped CBS and 20 other affiliates with fines.

The FCC's strategy is not to force another rehearing of the trial immediately- they'd rather wait. The government agency plans to stake their claim on the back of another case, an indecency claim against Fox for profanity on an award show, according to Multichannel News.

The Supreme Court's ruling on that case could bolster the claim that CBS should also be labeled indecent- the act shocked fans nationwide.

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"How can nudity and a striptease in front of 90 million unsuspecting viewers not qualify as indecency?" Tim Winter, Parents Council President, previously told CNN after the 2011 decision to throw out the case.

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performed a duet together, mixing together each of their respective popular hit songs. At the end of the performance, Timberlake cried out "Imma have you naked by the end of this song," then pulled off part of Jackson's outfit, exposing her breast.

For little more than a few moments, the most watched event of the year showed nudity. Later, FCC would claim that "alarm bells" had gone off, warning them that the two entertainers planned the entire event.

 

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