Super Bowl 2020: 'Janet Jackson Appreciation Day' Takes off on Twitter 16 Years After Infamous Halftime Show

Some music fans have a new name in mind for Super Bowl Sunday: Janet Jackson Appreciation Day. On the anniversary of Jackson's unforgettable halftime show with Justin Timberlake, many want to see the singer honored this year. The idea has taken root on Twitter, where it was trending for much of Sunday afternoon.

Janet Jackson stole the show at Super Bowl XXXVIII, but not in a way that benefited her. She shared the stage with a few other performers, while singing a medley of her hits by herself. Finally, Timberlake joined her for a duet of his song, "Rock Your Body," during which he pulled off a part of her top, revealing her breast.

Despite the best efforts of censors, Jackson was exposed on national TV, and fans were outraged.

At the time, many viewers called CBS and the FCC to complain that this was an instance of indecent exposure. Anger was directed at the network, the camera operators, Timberlake and at Jackson herself. Years later, many fans feel that Jackson was mistreated in the whole ordeal.

The hashtag "Janet Jackson Appreciation Day" was an attempt to remedy that on Sunday, and it picked up a lot of steam. Some of Twitter's most prominent users took part as well, including former NFL player and current filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry. Cherry shared his personal favorite song by Jackson, "Come Back to Me," and encouraged fans to do the same.

"Remember to respond with the Hashtag [Janet Jackson Appreciation Day] with your answer too so we can keep it trending," he wrote.

"I don’t observe the Super Bowl but Happy [Janet Jackson Appreciation Day]," added artist Bree Newsome.

Some fans kept their appreciation of Jackson subtle, while others addressed the 2004 Super Bowl controversy directly.

"I never (still don't) believed it was a malfunction... But I h8 that my [Taurus] sista got all the blame!" one fan wrote.

Jackson did offer an apology and an explanation after the 2004 performance. In a statement published by CNN at the time, she noted that Timberlake was only meant to pull away a small part of her costume, still leaving her covered. It was supposed to correspond with the lyric: "I'm gonna have you naked by the end of this song."


"I am really sorry if I offended anyone. That was truly not my intention," she said. "MTV, CBS, the NFL had no knowledge of this whatsoever, and unfortunately, the whole thing went wrong in the end."

Janet Jackson Appreciation Day carries on on Twitter as this year's Super Bowl gets underway. The game starts live at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox.