Fans flocked to social media on Sunday to question why Maroon 5‘s Adam Levine was able to purposely remove his shirt during the 2019 Super Bowl LIII Pepsi Halftime Show, while Janet Jackson was criticized for her infamous wardrobe malfunction during her 2004 Super Bowl set with Justin Timberlake.
During the Super Bowl Halftime show from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Levine, 39, removed his shirt while playing guitar. But people questioned Levine’s revealing performance, recalling how Jackson, 52, was “blackballed” after Timberlake went to remove her corset and accidentally tore off her bra too, exposing her bare breast.
Controversy ensued, Timberlake and Jackson issued apologies, and the Federal Communications Commission charged CBS, the network that broadcast the game that year, with a $550,000 indecency fine for the incident, dubbed “Nipplegate.” CBS is again broadcasting the big game this year.
“So Adam Levine can perform shirtless but Janet Jackson can’t?” questioned one user on Twitter. “This is so very wrong haha.”
This sentiment was shared by many others.
Travis Scott and Big Boi also performed during the halftime show, along with local musicians Equinox Percussion and the Voice of Atlanta gospel choir. Maroon 5 played throwbacks from their early albums, such as “Harder to Breathe” and “This Love,” but it was during their performance of “Moves Like Jagger” that Levine removed his shirt.