According to a report in the Huffington Post, Les Moonves was so angry about Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show, that he tried to ruin the singer’s career.
Much has been made of the public shaming Jackson suffered after the incident, while the person that actually exposed Jackson’s breast, Justin Timberlake, suffered almost no consequences and went on to be one of the biggest stars in the music industry. That might be because of Moonves, who accepted a tearful apology from Timberlake the morning after the game. According to Yashir Ali’s story, the then-head of Viacom because angry when he didn’t receive a similar phone call from Jackson.
Moonves, however, was convinced it wasn’t a malfunction, but rather an intentional bid to stir up controversy. Moonves has been open about the fact that the incident caused him embarrassment, and he told sources who spoke to me that Jackson, in his mind, was not sufficiently repentant.
Moonves banned Jackson from that year’s Grammys, which aired on CBS. He also banned her music videos from VH1 and MTV, which has been cited for the disappointing performance of her album Damita Jo, which was released the following month.
The vendetta went on for a long time according to Ali. Moonves was reportedly less than pleased that a Viacom subsidiary would release Janet Jackson’s autobiography.
even years after the 2004 incident, Moonves told several sources he was furious when he found out Jackson had signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster for her book True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself. Simon & Schuster is owned by Viacom.
“How the fuck did she slip through?” Moonves asked while recounting the story to a source who spoke to me. He told another source that heads were going to roll as a result of the deal.
Les Moonves is currently in the process of negotiating his exit from CBS after being accused of sexual assault by multiple women.