Boobgate/Joe Flacco’s F-Bomb and indecency on TV

Kat Fletcher, Holly Lloyd, Elisabeth Lutz

During the 2004 Super Bowl halftime act, Justin Timberlake teamed up with Janet Jackson to perform his hit song ‘Rock your Body’. The majority of the performance went well, but then things took a turn for the worse. At the very end of the song, when the lyrics “Bet I’ll have you naked by the end of this song,” were sang, Justin Timberlake tugged on Janet Jackson’s costume to remove a piece of material. Underneath the material was supposed to be a red lace bra, intended to give off a certain sex appeal that went along with the song. Timberlake accidentally removed the bra along with the costume, revealing Janet Jackson’s bare breast on national television.

As a result of this incident, many Americans were displeased. The performance was labeled as embarrassing and inappropriate for viewers. It is something that should not have aired on national television. After the event, NFL announced that MTV would never produce a halftime act again. The FCC acted appropriately towards the situation as well. Thanks to Jackson and Timberlake, the five second delay of live television programs was initiated. This issue positively impacts television viewers by protecting them from being exposed to inappropriate material that could potentially air on a live television program. The future of this issue is a positive one because it is proven that television producers have been working hard for the past 13 years since the performance to ensure positive viewing experiences for all general audiences.


After winning the Super Bowl in 2013 Joe Flacco, of the Baltimore Ravens, slipped the f- bomb on live national television. Flacco who was still clearly amped up from just winning the super bowl, one of the biggest games of his career, was not paying attention to the hot mic that picked up his profanity.


The PTC or the Parents Television Council was very vocal about fining CBS about the mishap. PTC president Tim Winter said, “despite empty assurance after empty assurance from the broadcast networks that they would never air indecent material, especially during the Super Bowl, it has happened again. No one should be surprised that a jubilant quarterback might use profane language while celebrating a career-defining win, but that is precisely the reason why CBS should have taken precautions.”CBS was not fined by the FCC because of the spontaneous profanity. The FCC as made clear that the television networks are not responsible for the random obscenities such as Flacco’s b- bomb or Janet Jackson’s boobgate.


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