Maher: Backlash for 2004 Justin Timberlake-Janet Jackson ‘wardrobe malfunction’ was race-based

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Remember the controversy that ensued in 2004 after Janet Jackson revealed her right breast during the Super Bowl halftime show?

Six years later, on Sunday during the MTV Music Awards, one of the performers involved in the breast-revealing incident, Justin Timberlake, acted similarly and that seemed to upset HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher. Maher expressed this on his Friday night show.

“But also, I mean, I want to put some perspective — I said this in the monologue, it is just a dirty country,” Maher said. “And I tend to agree with you — I was watching the MTV Movie Awards this week and look, I’m the last thing as a prude. I’ve never been married. I have a reputation as a libertine. You know, I don’t have a dog in this fight but I was shocked when I saw the opening monologue between Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, two performers I like. They did a bit. They were saying, ‘We’re not really dating.’ Just to prove it – show it and tell me what you think.”

The “bit” that drew Maher’s ire was of Timberlake and Kunis grabbing each other’s private parts last Sunday. And according to the “Real Time” host, this was worse than embattled New York Rep. Anthony Weiner’s recent Twitter indiscretions.

“I mean, I’m just saying the Weiner thing was supposed to be private,” Maher said. “This is show for children. I’m sorry, but 12-year-olds watched it. And it’s not just like a glance. It’s like hanging on to a guy’s dick and –”

Maher compared this incident to the 2004 Jackson incident and suggested that the reason this latest MTV incident hasn’t caused an uproar has something to do with race.

“I’m just saying that if you’re the parent of a 10-year-old and this is ok with you, shut up about Anthony Weiner,” Maher said. “And also, show the picture — I mean, this is Justin Timberlake, remember this is six years ago. Janet Jackson’s tit popped out for a second. Here’s six years later just grabbing — I think it’s something about black and white people, I really do. When he did it with the white girl, no backlash. One second with the black tit, it was a national calamity.”