The Parents Television Council shared the letter on its website on Tuesday to request that Timberlake, who last performed the halftime show in 2004, keep Sunday’s show appropriate for families to enjoy together.
“The fallout of your performance during Super Bowl XXXVIII has left an indelible mark. You really threw us – and millions of parents who were watching with their kids,” the PTC's letter read.
In 2004, Timberlake famously ripped off a piece of Janet Jackson’s leather bustier during their performance of “Rock Your Body,” which exposed her nipple-shielded breast to nearly 90 million viewers on the live broadcast. The incident, dubbed "nipplegate," drew half a million complaints and spawned a Federal Communications Commission investigation and indecency fines, which were later reversed.
The Parents Television Council wrote that since the incident, Timberlake, 37, has become a husband to Jessica Biel and father to their 2-year-old son Silas. It acknowledged that the pop singer has grown to become a generous philanthropist and advocate, and has “brought us joy through your music and film performances.”
Still, the council felt inclined to submit an “urgent appeal” to the singer advocating for a family-friendly halftime show.
“As we approach this Sunday’s Super Bowl LII and its halftime show during which you’ll be performing, we ask you to keep the halftime show friendly and safe for the children watching, and who may be hoping to emulate you one day,” the letter continues.
Prior to the council’s letter, Timberlake addressed concerns about his return to the Super Bowl lineup following the 2004 scandal.
"I stumbled through it," Timberlake said in an interview with Beats 1 host Zane Lowe. "To be quite honest, like, I had my wires crossed. "It's just something that you have to look back on and go like, 'OK, you can't change what's happened, but you can move forward and learn from it.' "
With the pop star's apology in mind, the PTC shared its views on the "sexualized" broadcast and entertainment culture, something it hopes the Trolls star steers clear from.
“Our children are confronted with enough harmful and explicit content in today’s entertainment media – content that sexualizes our daughters; graphic violence that connotes acceptance as an answer to life’s conflicts; glamorization of underage drinking and drug use; normalization of children using harsh profanity; and a litany of other messaging that runs counter to the values most parents work to instill in their kids,” the council argued.0comments
“The Super Bowl, and particularly its halftime show, should be the hallmark of entertainment that’s both appealing and a safe place for the entire family,” it concluded, adding, “Break a leg.”
Timberlake will perform a medley of hits with band The Tennessee Kids during the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show on Sunday, which is set to provide an entertaining intermission during the battle between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.