In a decision thematically consistent with the rest of 2017, Justin Timberlake will be returning to the Super Bowl Halftime Show stage on February 4 in Minneapolis as headlining act, this time sans Janet Jackson.
To make matters even shabbier, Timberlake got pal Jimmy Fallon to help him make the announcement in what I suppose was intended to be a funny, lighthearted way, on Sunday. Yet watching the clip made my face flush hot with embarrassment for how silly and safe it was. Justin Timberlake’s eyebrow does all the heavy lifting and that’s just not fair:
As if Timberlake’s extremely arch eyebrow could erase the memory of his last Super Bowl show 14 years ago, significant for the “wardrobe malfunction” that exposed his co-performer Janet Jackson’s nipple and then somehow got her banned from ever performing at that show again and had many other bad consequences for her career. (In 2014 TMZ reached out to the NFL to ask who they were considering for their next headliner, to which a rep responded, “As for potential acts, we have only ruled out Janet Jackson.”)
Some appropriate reactions to this disappointing news:
Please don’t clap.