Justin Timberlake Is Back for the Super Bowl Halftime Show (Side Eye)

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl 38 between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Feb. 1, 2004. At the end of the performance, Timberlake tore away a piece of Jackson’s outfit. (Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

In a show of just how far the Super Bowl halftime show has sunk, Justin Timberlake—who hasn’t had an album out in four years—will reportedly be this year’s headliner, once again showing that he will sing black, sound black and get produced by black folks, but when it comes to taking a stand for his “hip” brethren and sistren, there are only Tennessee crickets to be heard (that, and his corny Michael Jackson-stealing warble).

Unlike rapper Jay-Z, who will reportedly not perform because of the NFL’s treatment of former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Timberlake has signed on to be Super Bowl 52’s headliner, while Janet Jackson, who brought Timberlake along with her in 2004, has not been on that stage since.


Who could forget how Timberlake hurled Janet Jackson under the bus after the infamous “nipple-gate” debacle? You know, when he exposed her breasts but did not stand with her after the entire universe came crashing down around her? Yeah. We remember.

TMZ reached out to the NFL, which says that Jackson is not “banned,” but plenty of folks on Twitter are still pissed that J.T. is back and showing his true colors (white, eggshell and ivory).


J.T., for his part, is still distancing himself from Janet.


Frankly, he should do just fine performing under a Trump administration, where black women are publicly and constantly kicked in the teeth. He helped write the playbook.

We ain’t gonna be watching that shit anyway.

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About the author

Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.