Janet taken off Grammy lists as breast display row spreads
Grammy organisers have taken Janet Jackson off the list of presenters for Sunday's annual music awards in a growing backlash against the exposure of her breast on prime time television.Updated: Feb 09, 2004 14:29 IST
Grammy organisers have taken Janet Jackson off the list of presenters for Sunday's annual music awards in a growing backlash against the exposure of her breast on prime time television.
American television networks were left running scared after Justin Timberlake tore off Jackson's bodice to reveal the singer's right breast last Sunday, hastily tightening security to avoid copycat stunts at the Oscars and other events.
Though no official announcement has been made about axing the singer from Grammys -- the highlight of the US pop year -- Jackson's name has been taken off official lists of presenters for Sunday's ceremony in Los Angeles distributed by organisers and sponsors.
The Washington Post quoted one source close to the Grammy show as saying "CBS and the Recording Academy are waiting for her to graciously bow out; if she does not soon, they will uninvite her."
CNN television quoted Jackson's publicist, Steven Huvane, as saying he did not think the singer would appear at the Grammys.
Timberlake, who is nominated for five Grammys, is still scheduled to appear however, though he may not sing as first planned, according to media reports.
The 35-year-old singer was to have given a special award to soul singer Luther Vandross who is recovering from a stroke. Vandross is now not expected to appear at the Grammys.
The Grammys are being broadcast in the United States by CBS which was also forced to apologise after showing the steamy duet during the Super Bowl half time show to an estimated American audience of 100 million people.
Timberlake has expressed shock at what Jackson has admitted was a stunt.
"When what happened, happened, I was completely shocked and appalled," he told Los Angeles' CBS 2 News late Wednesday.
The former N'Sync singer said the original plan had been for him to pull on the bodice and expose a red lace bra, not her naked breast, covered only by an ornate nipple-cap.
"It was, 'Oh my God, oh my God'. I was completely embarrassed. I don't feel like I need publicity like that and I wouldn't want to be involved in a stunt, especially not a stunt of this magnitude," he said.
In addition to the 100 million Americans who were glued to their television sets when Jackson's breast was exposed, countless others made the scandal the most searched item on the Internet -- surpassing even the September 11 2001 attacks, according to Terra Lycos.
Jackson has apologised but is still the target of widespread outrage with the Federal Communications Commission launching an investigation into whether indecency regulations have been breached.
Networks are running scared following Jackson's raunchy display. CBS is going to put a time delay on the live broadcast of the Grammys to prevent further embarassment. ABC television said it will hold its broadcast of the Oscars ceremony on February 29 by five seconds.
Embarrassed by the uproar over the Super Bowl, the National Football League has cancelled a performance by N'Sync singer J.C. Chasez, a former bandmate of Timberlake, at the Pro Bowl game this weekend.
MTV, which organised the Super Bowl halftime show, has already felt the stunt's consequences.
A high school principal in Laguna Beach, California decided to cancel an MTV reality show starring some of the school's students.
But a decision by NBC to cut a shot of an exposed breast of an 80-year-old woman receiving emergency care during its award winning series "ER" has outraged the makers.
ER executive producer John Wells accused NBC of censorship.
"While the unexpected exposure of Ms Jackson's breast during the Super Bowl Half-Time Show was inappropriate and deplorable on a broadcast intended for viewers of all ages, ER's incidental exposure of an elderly woman's breast in the context of a medical trauma is not comparable," he said.
First Published: Feb 09, 2004 14:29 IST