New year, new Janet Jackson documentary.
A few months after a New York Times documentary reignited commentary over the treatment of Jackson in the aftermath of her infamous Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction, a new doc – five years in the making with “never-before-seen footage” – promises a more in-depth look at her life, from being raised by her “very strict” father, Joe Jackson; to allegations of child sex abuse against her late brother, Michael Jackson; and, yes, the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.
“It’s just something that needs to be done,” Jackson says in a 3-minute-long trailer released on New Year’s Day. Night one of the two-part documentary is due Jan. 28 at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.
Aside from Jackson’s participation, the teaser promises major all-star appearances from Missy Elliot, Whoopi Goldberg, Mariah Carey, Ciara, Regina King, Tyler Perry, Samuel L. Jackson, Teyana Taylor, Janelle Monáe and Paula Abdul. Also present: Rebbie Jackson, the eldest of the Jackson children at 71, and their 91-year-old mother, Katherine Jackson.
Ciara dubs her a “legend.” Perry calls her a “warrior.” King says she’s the “blueprint.”
The preview promises an exploration of Joe Jackson’s “vision” to get his kids out of their Gary, Indiana, hometown by creating The Jackson 5.
“There were times when I didn’t understand where I actually fit in,” Janet Jackson recalls. “My father was very strict. He was in charge of my life, my career. My father said, ‘you’re going to sing.’ “
“There’s a great deal of scrutiny that comes with having that last name,” she adds.
And Janet Jackson opens up about her relationship with the late Michael Jackson, one of two brothers she said she was closest to in their large family. Did the allegations brought forward against Michael Jackson affect Janet’s career?
“Yeah,” she says. “Guilty by association.”
Speaking of things affecting her career: Photos and headlines from the 2004 Super Bowl, plus a clip of Jackson and her team discussing Justin Timberlake tease further conversations in the documentary about the blame and punishment placed on Jackson in the aftermath of the incident when Timberlake exposed Jackson’s nipple during their halftime show performance.
“They build you up and then once you get there, they’re so quick to tear you down,” Jackson laments.
‘What was the cost for this woman?’: Janet Jackson doc revisits Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction
“Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson,” the latest installment of the documentary series “The New York Times Presents,” arrived in November and revisited this moment and explored the resulting backlash aimed disproportionately at Jackson.
The documentary came on the heels of the abolition of Britney Spears’ 13-year restrictive conservatorship examined in a previous two-episode installment of the series. Although the filmmakers’ goal – redemption for Jackson – was less measurable than #FreeBritney – it also magnified the mistreatment of a pop icon. Both projects also pointed fingers at Timberlake, who was criticized in last year’s “Framing Britney Spears” for his public mishandling of their split and comments about their sex life, contradicting Spears’ former declaration that she wanted to remain a virgin until marriage.
Contributing: Erin Jensen