Maroon 5’s performance on Sunday is quickly becoming one of the most criticized Super Bowl halftime shows in recent memory. But lead singer Adam Levine took off his shirt halfway through.
Maroon 5’s Adam Levine at Super Bowl 53
Fans went wild on Twitter:
Adam Levine was like okay there’s one way to save this show and it’s to take my clothes off
Charlotte Wilder (@TheWilderThings) February 4, 2019
Adam Levine is now facing a class-action lawsuit after he steals approximately 100 million girlfriends nationwide during the Super Bowl. pic.twitter.com/Vfs5MBJSC5
Jordan Payton (@LEGIQN) February 4, 2019
While the halftime show had many swooning over the bare-chested, tattooed, muscle-clad singer, it had some critics wondering why Levine was getting so much positive attention for exposing his chest when legendary singer Janet Jackson was shunned.
When Jackson performed with Justin Timberlake during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show,
he pulled off part of her outfit, briefly exposing her right breast for a half-a-second. It became known as “Nipplegate.”
Les Moonves, the former CEO and chairman of CBS, who resigned last year over a sexual harassment scandal, targeted Jackson as he thought the “wardrobe malfunction” was intentional.
He ordered Viacom properties MTV and VH1 to
stop playing Jackson’s music videos, and all Viacom-owned radio stations, to stop playing her songs.
“Damita Jo, Jackson’s eighth album, arrives roughly five weeks after her Super Bowl performance,” according to Rolling Stone. “Thanks to the radio and music television blacklist, the LP underperforms compared to Janet’s previous releases.”
Timberlake performed at last year’s Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Jackson has not been invited back since. Twitter users quickly pointed out the double standard between Levine and Jackson:
Janet Jackson showed a nipple and the country went nuts. She had to move to Bahrain for 10 years. #AdamLevine just went full on shirtless. Guess he’s gonna have to move to Riyadh #superbowl https://t.co/9Dzjj1T3tO
MazJobrani (@MazJobrani) February 4, 2019
We all know who is and who isn’t demonized for having their nipples exposed on live television. Shout-out to the @JanetJackson. #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay
Women’s March (@womensmarch) February 4, 2019
Levine and his band brought controversy even before the Super Bowl. Fans started a petition asking Maroon 5 not to perform in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. The band instead chose to donate $500,000 to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America.