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Janet Jackson's Super Bowl Stylist Has Nothing But Clapbacks For Justin Timberlake's 'Wardrobe Malfunction' Claim

Jant Jackson and Justin Timberlake
(Image credit: Lionsgate/Apple TV+)

There are few moments in television history that are more infamous than Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s halftime show incident, which occurred at the 2004 Super Bowl. At the end of said show, Timberlake ripped off a part of Jackson’s black, leather outfit in what was supposedly meant to be a costume reveal. However, when doing so, a portion of the clothing was detached, and the pop star’s breast was briefly exposed. Shortly after, Timberlake apologized and in his statement, referred to the moment as a “wardrobe malfunction.” While many have debated the situation, Jackson’s stylist has made his position clear, as he had nothing but clapbacks for the “Can’t Stop the Feeling” singer. 

Wayne Scot Lukas oversaw the outfits for that Super Bowl performance, and he’s apparently not buying the Grammy winner’s comments on the matter. As Lukas recently explained, he and Justin Timberlake were previously friends, until the singer made his statement on the situation. During a recent interview with Access Hollywood, the stylist did not mince words on the current state of their relationship:

We haven’t spoken since he blamed me. . . . He coined [‘wardrobe malfunction’], and when he said that, I thought, ‘Friendship over.’ Wardrobe malfunction? I don’t malfunction. I was a professional stylist. $10,000 a day back then. I can’t fail.

During the chat, he contends that he was not to blame for the incident and notes that things went well during the dress rehearsal for the show, as he’s claimed in the past. He further explained that the “Rhythm Nation” performer’s breast was not meant to be exposed. Apparently, the performance was meant to end a different way and convey a specific idea: 

We were never supposed to see a movement where a breast was out, where a body part was out. It was never supposed to be lingering on something they say was this terrible thing for such a long time. They were supposed to cut to black. You were supposed to get the idea of I am going to have your naked body by this song, nobody was supposed to be naked. And I never said that. Somebody didn't push the button, somebody didn't protect my friend.

Wayne Scot Lukas eventually doubled down on his claims that the breast reveal was not part of his plan, as he wouldn’t have wanted to put Janet Jackson, a friend, in such a position. He cited his professional relationship with her, which apparently continued after the Super Bowl incident, as proof of this:

I stand 100% by my story that I did exactly what I was supposed to do, what I was hired for. And if I ever hurt my friend, I wouldn’t have worked with Janet for six years after the Super Bowl. I would have been fired that day.

Following The New York Times’ Britney Spears-centered documentaries, public interest in the halftime show controversy has been reignited, specifically in regard to Justin Timberlake’s role in it. As a matter of fact, the Times recently produced a doc on the matter entitled Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson. During his recent interview, Wayne Scot Lukas confirmed that he was asked to be interviewed for the show but declined. He says that since the doc premiered, he’s received death threats, stemming from his perceived role in the situation. 

Justin Timberlake has spoken about the incident in recent years, stating that he “stumbled” through the performance and was hoping to move forward and learn from it. In the wake of the reignited backlash, he apologized to both Janet Jackson and Britney Spears this past February. The singer stated that he had “failed” the women and that he respects both of them. Though Jackson didn’t directly respond to his comments, she posted a message to social media in which she thanked her fans for their support. At this point, there’s no telling if any kind of restitution will occur regarding the Super Bowl show though, at this point, it appears that the general public (and those involved with it) are not finished discussing it. 

Those who have not seen it can stream Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson on Hulu.

Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.