Remember When Janet Jackson’s Boob Was a Huge Deal? Nipplegate, 10 Years Later
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Super Bowl

Remember When Janet Jackson’s Boob Was a Huge Deal? Nipplegate, 10 Years Later

Today, February 1, 2014, marks the 10 year anniversary of that time Justin Timberlake ripped a piece of cloth off of Janet Jackson's Super Bowl Halftime Show costume, revealing her nipple for half a second and sending America into total freak-out mode.

Anyone who was old enough to be aware of pop culture at the time remembers the nip slip heard 'round the world, though a decade later it's sometimes hard to recall exactly why it was such a big deal. After all, in a year when we were all witnesses to Miley Cyrus humping a foam finger and twerking up on Robin Thicke on national television, a momentary wardrobe malfunction — that arguably didn't show that much, since Janet Jackson was sporting an impressive nipple ring that covered quite a bit — seems almost innocuous.

Remember When Janet Jackson’s Boob Was a Huge Deal? Nipplegate, 10 Years Later
Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images    

But a big deal it was. For many, such a scandalous moment during such a huge, national televised event, was an example of exactly how far into tastelessness pop culture had fallen. In fact, court documents revealed that that over 540,000 people (!) filed complaints about the nip-slip with the FCC, and the FCC eventually fined CBS a whopping $550,000 for the slip-up (pun intended), though in 2011 the fine was voided by the Third Circuit Court.

That one moment certainly had an impact Janet Jackson's career. The superstar was essentially banned from the Grammys that year, and many would argue that her career never fully recovered — though Justin Timberlake, who's the one who actually ripped off her clothing, is doing just fine.

Oh, and another effect of nippelgate: it helped inspire the foundation of YouTube. Really!

So, now that a decade has passed, what do you think of this memorable pop culture event? Do you understand why it upset so many viewers, or do you think people were making a big deal out of nothing? Would something like this cause the same outrage today?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Rebecca Martin is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Game of Thrones, Pretty Little Liars, and genre TV expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

01.31.2014 / 12:00 AM EDT by Rebecca Martin
Related: Super Bowl, Celebrity, Features, Justin Timberlake, Music, TV Nostalgia

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