Warning: This review may feature spoilers.
“Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson” is the latest Hulu documentary spotlighting the unfair treatment and sexism the singer went through caused by the mainstream media.
The New York Times produced the new documentary, following its success after “Framing Britney Spears.”
The new documentary critiques the media’s mistreatment of singer-songwriter Janet Jackson after the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show incident where her co-performer Justin Timberlake accidentally tore her top, exposing her breast on live television.
The documentary did a great job on explaining the timeline of Jackson’s rise to stardom and how the media criticized her sexuality over the years.
It was interesting to observe Jackson’s early origins, rise to international stardom and how the media tore her down.
The documentary deeply analyzed Jackson’s music career as she got older and explored the early origins of the modern cultural war from the early 1990s and 2000s.
The 2004 Super Bowl halftime show incident was not only one of the most scandalous pop culture events, but it spotlighted the unfair treatment and double standards that Jackson received in comparison to her co-performer Timberlake.
While Jackson was bombarded with lawsuits and shamed because of her wardrobe malfunction, Timberlake gained more work opportunities without taking accountability for the incident.
Even though neither Jackson nor Timberlake were directly responsible for this accident, it is important to point out the gender inequality that occurred during that time.
The message of “Malfunction” was to hold Timberlake and the mainstream media accountable for their actions.
While one star’s career was falling apart, another star was rising up.
The documentary drew similarities to “Framing Britney Spears” that pointed out the scrutiny that both Britney Spears and Jackson went through during the peak of their careers.
In this day and age of the “#MeToo” movement, it is important to keep in mind the past mistakes that were done to many female stars in the past and what society can learn from this.
Now that the ‘Free Britney’ movement has progressed to Spears’ freedom and empathy of what she went through behind the scenes for many years, it is time for Jackson to regain her power through the release of this documentary.
The New York Times deserves credit in spotlighting all of these problems that society often throws at women and the power inequality that comes with it.
“Malfunction” did an exceptional job on examining and looking back on a case that was long overdue and delivered justice that it deserved.