Parents Television Council Tells Justin Timberlake to Keep Super Bowl Halftime Show Family-Friendly

The last time Justin Timberlake headlined a Super Bowl halftime show, host broadcasting company CBS was slapped with a federal fine for indecency.

Ahead of Timberlake’s halftime performance at Super Bowl LII on Sunday (Feb. 4), the Parents Television Council (PTC) is urging him to steer clear of any moves that could rival the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” of 2004. That was when the highly acclaimed artist was dancing a choreographed routine with Janet Jackson and somehow ripped off part of her top, exposing flesh.

“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 PTC wrote Jan. 30 on its watchdog blog in an open letter to Timberlake. “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.”

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary ethicist Evan Lenow recalls “wondering in disbelief” during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime 14 years ago. He applauds the PTC for urging Timberlake to consider the audience.

“In the immediate aftermath of the 2004 show, the NFL seemed to make a conscious decision to use ‘safer’ musical acts than the pair of Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. We also saw an increased video delay of live events to prevent the same thing from happening again,” Lenow told Baptist Press today (Jan. 31). “Now that 14 years have passed, I am not certain that the NFL is as concerned about decency as they were immediately following that controversial event. However, I believe they should be.”

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Source: Baptist Press