Rumors have surfaced that Justin Timberlake is "finalizing" a deal to headline next year's Super Bowl halftime performance — but people are less than thrilled.
The issue? Critics are still upset Timberlake shifted the full blame onto Janet Jackson following their controversial 2004 Super Bowl halftime performance.
Nearly 14 years ago, Timberlake and Jackson took the stage at Super Bowl XXXVIII and delivered a jaw-dropping performance that ended with Timberlake exposing Jackson's jewelry-clad nipple for the world to see.
Immediately after the performance aired, enraged fans blasted the pair for the "inappropriate" display.
Timberlake was pressured into issuing an apology before he could accept any awards at the Grammys the following week; Jackson, meanwhile, was completely disinvited from the awards show.
Many viewers ultimately found Timberlake's "apology" to be half-assed (he insisted the offending act was "unintentional,“ adding that the move was "completely regrettable” and he didn't want or need publicity "like this”).
However, a quick "Sorry!" was evidently all Timberlake needed to return to the public's good graces.
Even after the headline-making performance, Timberlake continued (and still continues) to skyrocket to fame.
Jackson's career, on the other hand, immediately declined and has never been the same since that fateful Super Bowl duet.
With reports surfacing that Timberlake might take the stage for the next Super Bowl, fans are suddenly reminded of how terribly Timberlake handled the "Rock Your Body" scandal.
In an exclusive, Us Weekly noted that, while reports suggest Timberlake might perform with onetime collaborator Jay-Z, an insider confirmed, “as of right now, it will just be Justin — no surprise performers.”
Loyal Timberlake followers are elated, but the rest of the internet seemed to let out a "WTF?" upon hearing the news.
"How dare they!" Jezebel writer Rich Juzwiak lamented in a recent article, voicing his frustration over the way Jackson was shunned following the incident.
"It’s so fucking unfair how she was treated in comparison to him. It’s why I wrote thousands of words about it for its tenth anniversary," Juzwiak added. "And that’s why I’m banging my head against the table after reading an item from Us Weekly titled, “Justin Timberlake ‘Is Finalizing’ Deal to Perform at Super Bowl Halftime Show.'"
The fact that Timberlake was asked to return to the Super Bowl (yet Jackson was blacklisted) is insulting and undeniably sexist.
Twitter is demanding that Timberlake gives a sincere apology to Jackson before he even considers another Super Bowl performance.
The singer can't go back in time, but the very least he could do is give Jackson the apology she deserves.
Considering Timberlake has a long history of opportunistic sexism, it would be nice to see him make amends for *at least* one of the hurtful things he's done.