Jackson reconsiders Grammys as networks shift plans; Timberlake's family offended

Thursday, February 5th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ As CBS, NBC and ABC all shifted broadcast plans in reaction to the racy Super Bowl halftime show, Janet Jackson's publicist said she may back out of Sunday's Grammy Awards and Justin Timberlake admitted his own family was offended by the pop stars' stunt.

Timberlake on Wednesday insisted he thought only Jackson's bustier would be revealed, not her breast, when he yanked at her costume. He said he understood ``how unfortunate this is.''

``I do understand that there were a lot of people that were completely offended by what happened, including my own family. And I think that's probably the part that's frustrating the most for me, and it's completely, completely, completely, regrettable,'' he told KCBS-TV outside the Staples Center, where he was rehearsing for the Grammys.

Earlier, he had appeared to make light of what he called a ``wardrobe malfunction,'' telling the syndicated show ``Access Hollywood'' with a laugh, ``Hey, man, we love giving you all something to talk about.''

Jackson, meanwhile, is thinking twice about appearing for the Grammys telecast, her publicist, Steven Huvane, told CNN. ``We don't think she's going to go,'' he said.

Jackson issued videotaped and written apologies and denied that the NFL, CBS, or MTV, which produced the halftime show for CBS, knew of her plans. Jackson's spokeswoman said a red lace garment was supposed to remain over her breast when a piece of her outer garment was ripped away.

Timberlake said he received a call before the show from Jackson and her choreographer saying they wanted to do a ``costume reveal.''

``I was under the impression that what was going to be revealed in the costume reveal was a red brassiere, bustier,'' he said.

Timberlake said he didn't have time to rehearse it and was ``completely shocked and appalled'' by the outcome.

The NFL and three TV networks made shifts this week as fallout from the performance continued.

The NFL replaced one of Timberlake's 'N Sync bandmates, JC Chasez, in the Pro Bowl halftime show Sunday in Honolulu. The new halftime plan is for a Hawaiian extravaganza featuring hula dancers, drummers, conch shell blowers and local singers.

CBS promised to institute a video delay system to avoid any similar incidents at the Grammy awards. Jackson and Timberlake's stunt has spurred a Federal Communications Commission investigation into possible violation of broadcast decency laws. Penalties could reach into the millions of dollars if each CBS station is fined.

ABC said it will also implement an audio and video delay of undetermined length for its domestic broadcast of the Academy Awards on Feb. 29. The network had been considering such a move for some time and employs similar delays for other live prime-time broadcasts, including the American Music Awards.

At NBC, a glimpse of an elderly patient's breast was removed from Thursday's episode of ``ER.'' The network said Wednesday it had ``unfortunately concluded that the atmosphere created by this week's events has made it too difficult for many of our affiliates to air this shot.''

MTV also suffered fallout. The school board in Laguna Beach, Calif., voted unanimously Wednesday to bar the network from filming a reality show about students on a high school campus there.

Board members had tentatively approved the deal last week. It would have given the district as much as $40,000, plus royalties, for college scholarships.

The deal was nixed after the board faced opposition from parents angry over MTV's role in the Super Bowl show. ``The tenor of the landscape has changed,'' school board member Bob Whalen said.

MTV spokeswoman Janet Hill said the network regretted the decision and producers will discuss whether to continue with the program by filming the students off campus.

Jackson's brother Jermaine said on Thursday's ``The Early Show'' on CBS that he knew something went wrong after his sister's Super Bowl act but didn't see it clearly.

``The family is very focused and supportive of both Janet and Michael. ... The people should lay off, the public should lay off us,'' he said.