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Janet Jackson Stunt Costs Network $550,000, Supreme Court To Decide

04/21/2012 04:04 PM ET

The Supreme Court has taken the Janet Jackson stunt case that costs CBS network $550,000 by the Federal Communications Communication to determine if the fine was unfair. A lower court rules that the $550k fine was unfair for the wardrobe malfunction stunt, which which aired during the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Janet Jackson Supreme Court

In 2006, the FCC fined CBS for breaking “indecency rules” after Jackson’s breast was briefly exposed to the audience. It happened when Justin Timberlake tore a piece of her clothing away as part of the act. However, they would later state that it was a “wardrobe malfunction” and Jackson would later apologize on television for the incident.

If the incident was an “accident,” with no proof that it was done intentional, then critics argue that the $550k fine was too much.

In addition, CBS wants the courts to argue the difference between an intentional incident and an accident.

CBS and the FCC have fought a back and forth legal battle over the fine ever since, in the courts, with the network winning an appeal case last November that kept them from paying the fine.

After the ruling, the FCC decided to take its own appeal of that ruling to the Supreme Court, requesting they review the case telling the court that “no such exemption has ever existed” for nudity, and was implied for isolated foul language slip ups.


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