Channel Nine to air The Rise and Fall of Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson

• The documentary examines the infamous wardrobe malfunction that destroyed her career

In an Australian television exclusive, Channel Nine is set to air the New York Times documentary The Rise and Fall of Janet Jackson, which examines the infamous wardrobe malfunction that destroyed her career.

The world will never forget the moment singer Justin Timberlake tore off part of Jackson’s bustier top, exposing her breast for no longer than nine-sixteenths of a second during the half-time Super Bowl show in 2004.

The failed stunt spawned a national furore, vilifying Jackson but leaving Timberlake virtually unscathed.

The documentary, which will air on Wednesday February 2 at 9.10pm on Channel Nine and 9Now, is set to explore how political opportunity mixed with issues of race and sexism ultimately consumed Jackson’s legacy while propelling Timberlake’s career to a new level.

We hear from members of the Jackson family, Tito, TJ and Taj Jackson, along with prominent journalists, politicians, broadcasters and record label executives as they recount the events that led up to the incident, the aftermath, and the intense scrutiny and ridicule Jackson unjustly endured.

During a time when America’s broadcast decency rules were on the brink of reform, the incident aided a pivotal shift in legislation as politicians seized the moment to rein in content they deemed inappropriate, dragging Jackson through the mud as a poster girl for improper behaviour.

Through a collection of archival footage and curated interviews we follow the succession of Jackson’s career: from her role as the bright-eyed Penny Gordon Woods in the hit television series Good Times to her transition from RnB sweetheart to sexually liberated popstar.

Grappling with racism and far-right conservatism as a fiery female of colour rising to fame in the 90s, Jackson ran a fine line between class and crass, empowering women around the world with her unapologetic attitude and inspirational success.

Yet seemingly overnight, her remarkable career was in tatters as the world demonised Jackson over the Super Bowl indiscretion. 

The documentary traces the inexplicable injustices that severed Jackson’s reputation and the toxic, misogynistic culture that society is now fighting to stamp out.

The Rise and Fall of Janet Jackson will air on Wednesday February 2 at 9.10pm, on Channel Nine and 9Now

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