Janet Jackson’s infamous Nipplegate goes back to courtMay 5th, 2009 - 5:58 am ICT by IANS
Washington, May 5 (DPA) Singer Janet Jackson’s exposed-breast saga was back in court Monday, when the US Supreme Court ordered a lower court to reconsider its decision to throw out a fine against CBS in the matter.
The saga began when Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show when fellow entertainer Justin Timberlake pulled down her bustier as part of a dance routine.
Both performers called the event a “wardrobe malfunction”. Jackson’s breast was visible for just 9/10ths of a second, but prompted thousands of complaints from viewers.
The Supreme Court said the review was necessary after it ruled last week that the broadcast watchdog, the Federal Communications Commission, could sanction TV stations for even the one-time use of expletives.
The US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia had previously dismissed the FCC’s fine against CBS on the grounds that Jackson’s exposure was so brief that it fell under the FCC’s own policy exempting isolated material from indecency sanctions.
The FCC subsequently changed its policy to cover even fleeting obscenities. In its ruling last week, the Supreme Court said the FCC had been “entirely rational” in doing so, even though it declined to rule on whether the ban violated the broadcasters’ constitutional rights.
In a statement, CBS said the Supreme Court’s decision was not a surprise given last week’s ruling. The network said it was confident that the court will again find the incident was not and could not have been anticipated by the network.
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