Janet Jackson, CBS Triumphant In Super Bowl Wardrobe Malfunction Appeals Case

Robbie Daw | November 3, 2011 9:05 am

A federal appeals court upheld its ruling on Wednesday that the Federal Communications Commission wrongly fined Janet Jackson and CBS for a wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl broadcast, wherein Jackson’s breast was briefly exposed during a halftime performance with Justin Timberlake. In case you forgot, this incident has led to some pretty tame Super Bowl performances in the ensuing years. (Perhaps Madonna will shake things up in 2012?) The United States Court Of Appeals For The Third Circuit in Philadelphia initially ruled similarly in 2008, but the Supreme Court sent the case back to the appeals court the following year, reports the New York Times, after it ruled in a separate case that the FCC had the right to hold broadcasters accountable even for unscripted and isolated foul language.

However, according to The Wrap, the appeals court ruled that the FCC failed to properly inform CBS about changes in indecency enforcement, and had “arbitrarily” departed from its prior policy when it stuck the network and Janet Jackson with a $550,000 fine.

“We are gratified that once again the court has ruled in our favor. We are hopeful that this will help lead the FCC to return to the policy of restrained indecency enforcement it followed for decades,” CBS said in a statement.

Let’s hope Miss Jackson is popping a bottle somewhere — with clothes fully on, of course.