Network looking to avoid surprises at Grammys
NEW YORK -- Following Janet Jackson's surprise breast-baring on the Super Bowl halftime show, CBS said Tuesday it would institute a video delay system to avoid any recurrence at Sunday's Grammy Awards.
CBS technicians were scrambling to invent the software -- something more than five-second audio delay the network has used to bleep out swear words, as when Eminem performed on the Grammys two years ago.
At the end of their duet Sunday, Justin Timberlake snatched off part of Jackson's bustier on stage, revealing a breast clad only in a sun-shaped "nipple shield" to some 89 million viewers.
Jackson's spokeswoman, Jennifer Holiner, said a red lace garment was supposed to remain when Timberlake tore off the outer covering.
But widespread questions remained about the intent.
Timberlake, who is nominated for five Grammy Awards, is scheduled to perform on Sunday's telecast. Jackson is supposed to present an award.
CBS faces an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission into whether the Super Bowl show violated decency laws, with potential fines of up to $27,500. If applied to each CBS station, the fine could reach into the millions.
FCC chief Michael Powell said he wasn't happy with the halftime show in general, which featured performances by Nelly and Kid Rock before the bump-and-grind duet with Jackson and Timberlake. Nelly gestured toward his crotch, while Kid Rock draped himself in an American flag-designed poncho.
"I think everybody's focusing on the finale, but a lot of what we've heard in terms of complaints and the breadth of the investigation is a little broader than just that incident," Powell said on ABC's "Good Morning America."
"I personally was offended by the entire production," he said.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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