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The celebrity stylist who styled Janet Jackson for her Super Bowl performance with Justin Timberlake has addressed Hulu’s New York Times documentary, “Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson.”
The doc examined “the racial and cultural currents that collided on the Super Bowl stage, and explores how the incident impacted one of the most successful pop musicians in history.”
Jackson faced heavy backlash in 2004 over her performance during the Super Bowl halftime show. Timberlake exposed Jackson’s breast to millions of viewers. A wardrobe malfunction was cited for the error. However, many blamed Jackson while Timberlake was allowed off the hook.
In the documentary, Senior VP of MTV Salli Frattini said Jackson and her stylist, Wayne Scot Lukas, and spent money and materials to stage the infamous incident.
“My instincts told me that there was a private conversation between wardrobe stylists and artists where someone thought this would be a good idea and it backfired,” she added.
Lukas disputes Fattini’s claims: “I was a work for hire, I was hired to do a job and I did exactly what I was supposed to do,” he told “Access Hollywood.” “If I work with someone who’s a dancer, you have to be able to dance in a wardrobe and it has to never fall apart. I stand 100% by my story that I did exactly what I was supposed to do, what I was hired for and if I ever hurt my friend, I wouldn’t have worked with Janet for six years after the Super Bowl. I would have been fired that day.”
He said producers were also to blame.
He continued, “You were never supposed to see a movement where a breast was out, a body part was out. It was never supposed to be lingering on something that they say was this terrible thing for such a long time. They were supposed to cut to black. You were supposed to get the idea of, ‘I’m gonna have you naked by the end of this song,’ nobody was supposed to be naked. And I’ve never said that. Somebody didn’t push the button. Somebody didn’t protect my friend.”
Lukas added that Timberlake had not spoken to him since blaming him but denied there was ever a “malfunction.”
“Wardrobe malfunction? I don’t malfunction,” he appended. “I was a professional stylist, $10,000 a day back then. I can’t fail.”