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AMERICAN MORNING

Janet Jackson Apology

Aired February 4, 2004 - 08:47   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Sunday's Grammy Awards telecast on CBS will what the network calls an enhanced audio and video delay. The goal is to try and avoid a repeat of what happened on Sunday night at the Super Bowl. Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake are planned to be at the Grammies on Sunday night. There's even talk that Timberlake and Jackson could be, could be disinvited. That hasn't happened, though. Many say it won't happen.
In a videotaped statement released late yesterday, Jackson took full responsibility for the incident at the Super Bowl.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANET JACKSON: My decision to change the Super Bowl performance was actually made after the final rehearsal. MTV, CBS, the NFL, had no knowledge of this whatsoever and unfortunately the whole thing went wrong in the end. I am really sorry if I offended anyone. That was truly not my intention.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEMMER: That was Janet Jackson. She made a statement over the weekend and now you have it on audiotape and videotape now.

More on the comments and the enhanced Grammies from Toure', contributing editor of "Rolling Stone" magazine.

Good morning to you.

TOURE', CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "ROLLING STONE": Thank you.

HEMMER: You know a lot of people at MTV. You understand the culture within that organization.

TOURE': Yes.

HEMMER: Knowing that, what leads you to believe as to why the envelope was pushed so heavily on Sunday night?

TOURE': Well, I mean they enjoy the rebellious child image. I mean it's a real corporation and it's a corporation where there's a lot of people who have been there for years so it's a real culture. And they like to be known as this envelope pushing, rebellious child thing. This was what got MTV known at the beginning. This is what you think of when you think of MTV. Now they've given you the kiss. Now they've given you Janet Jackson popping out. They like this.

HEMMER: You know, but it all comes under the same umbrella as Viacom, their relationship with CBS.

On Sunday night, what does the network do? Do they keep Justin? Do they keep Janet? And if so, is there a risk to their own reputation if they continue as planned for Sunday evening?

TOURE': Well, I think the risk to the reputation would be even more if they banned them or disinvited them, because then that looks tacky. It looks like they're punishing them. Then other stars might start to get involved, hey, wait a minute, like that's not such a big deal. And then you start to talk about like perhaps nudity in America is, you know, we're being prudish about it.

Besides, they know that everybody wants to see Janet and Justin right now. It's a ratings boost. So they'd be kind 09f spiting their nose, cutting off their nose to spite their face.

HEMMER: So how do handle it Sunday night, though? You can't avoid it. It's like the 800 pound gorilla sitting in the corner of the room.

TOURE': The horse is already out of the barn. Janet already had her shocking look at me moment. She's not going to do it again. Justin's going to be on his best behavior. I mean the Grammies have this Oscar like thing.

HEMMER: Well, I'm not suggesting that it happens again.

TOURE': Right.

HEMMER: When people tune in, they're going to still, in the back of their minds, remember what happened a week ago.

TOURE': And they're going to continue to remember that throughout the new Janet Jackson album, singles coming out on radio today, album next month. So this is the whole point. She can apologize all she wants, but she's getting what she wanted.

HEMMER: Here's a possibility. Why don't you have Justin and Janet open the show on Sunday night, come out, make an apology, make a joke about it then put it behind them? Sound reasonable?

TOURE': I mean it -- the thing, the whole thing is because it was on CBS. Janet was showing her breasts on her HBO special a couple of years ago. So this is a lot ado about, OK, it's CBS. OK, it's the Tiffany network. But...

HEMMER: But there are standards. There are standards for cable and then there are standards for broadcast, and we've seen them in the past.

TOURE': And the standards are clearly pushing all the time. You heard Johnny Liden (ph) use the C word on TV in Britain. I mean that's the last real curse word like...

HEMMER: Well, listen, it's cable. We don't need to repeat that here. Thanks, Toure'.

Good to see you, as always.

TOURE': Good to see you.

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