CBS Exec Les Moonves Attempted To Destroy Janet Jackson’s Career, Allegedly

Sergio Cunningham
September 9, 2018

According to a new report, CBS executive Les Moonves was so enraged and embarrassed that he allegedly attempted to destroy Janet Jackson's career.

Moonves banned Jackson and Timberlake from the 2004 Grammys broadcast airing on CBS the week after the Super Bowl.

Moonves ordered MTV and VH1 (both Viacom properties) and all owned-radio stations to stop playing Jackson's songs and videos, as a result her newly released album at the time, suffered massively.

Influential CBS boss Les Moonves reportedly harbored a grudge against singer Janet Jackson, after her notorious 2004 "wardrobe malfunction" that may have had a significant negative impact on her career. The parent company, which also owns Viacom Inc. wants to merge Viacom with CBS, a move CBS leadership has been combatting for the past year.

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CBS and MTV, which produced the halftime show, were internationally criticised and faced a $550,000 Federal Communications Commission fine.

Although both stars made statements claiming that the "malfunction" wasn't planned, Moonves seemed to be convinced otherwise, believing that it was intentional to stir up controversy. Timberlake, however, was able to perform after he allegedly offered a tearful apology for the incident, according to various sources HuffPost spoke with who were familiar with the matter. Rather than lay herself at Moonves' feet, Jackson opted to apologize publicly, and the CEO was reportedly "furious that Jackson didn't make a similarly contrite apology to him". Timberlake went on to enjoy a celebrated career (which he does to this day) and Jackson was made to deal with the consequences alone. "How the fuck did she slip through?" one source recalls Mooves saying.

Moonves is reportedly in settlement talks to leave CBS, with the board offering around $100 million amid an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

HuffPost sources suggest Moonves had a huge role in how Jackson was received after the debacle.

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