Hulu's Next NY Times Documentary Is About The Janet Jackson Super Bowl Scandal

Back in 2004, the Super Bowl halftime show shocked audiences when Justin Timberlake ripped open half of Janet Jackson's top to expose the singer's breast and a large piece of nipple jewelry for 9/16ths of a second. It was a moment that made pop culture history, put the term "wardrobe malfunction" into common vernacular, and sent certain sects of the population into an uproar. But for some reason, only one of the pop stars involved suffered due to the controversy, while the other skyrocketed to even more stardom. This topic will be explored in-depth as the subject of an upcoming episode of "The New York Times Presents" documentary series on FX and Hulu.

"Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson"

"The New York Times Presents" made waves in the music industry not too long ago with their "Controlling Britney Spears" documentary, which had a big hand in calling attention to the egregious issues with the pop star's conservatorship that was in the hands of some greedy, manipulative family members. Now they might be enlightening the public in how the narrative of this infamous controversy from the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show (watch above) was spun by the media and how it impacted not just the careers of these two chart-topping performers but pop culture in general.

Here's the official synopsis for "The New York Times Presents" episode "Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson" from FX and Hulu:

In 2004, a culture war was brewing when the Super Bowl halftime show audience saw a white man expose a Black woman's breast for 9/16ths of a second. A national furor ensued. "If the culture wars could have a 9/11, it's February 1st, 2004," said one observer. The woman was Janet Jackson, and her career was never the same. The man was Justin Timberlake; his stardom only grew. The New York Times examines the racial and cultural currents that collided on the Super Bowl stage, and explores how the incident impacted one of the most successful pop musicians in history.

The episode will feature rarely seen footage and interviews with some of people who were manning the controls when the Super Bowl halftime show was airing live from Houston, including NFL and MTV executives who were in charge at the time. They'll help reconstruct how the incident played out and the impact it had on television culture for years to come. Other key figures include music industry insiders, cultural critics, and members of the Jackson family, helping to paint a thorough portrait of the fallout that followed.

It's interesting to note that the Britney Spears documentary didn't paint Justin Timberlake in a very good light due to his contributions in disparaging the public image of the struggling pop starlet. Now it sounds like Timberlake may be seen in an unfavorable light again as the star who came out of this controversy largely unscathed despite being directly involved with the incident in question. Meanwhile, Janet Jackson's career was effectively ruined, and it never really recovered. But we'll have to wait to hear the whole story.

"Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson," directed and produced by Jodi Gomes, will debut on November 19 at 10:00 P.M. ET/PT on both FX and Hulu