Skip to comments.Internal Viacom Memo on Super Bowl Halftime
Posted on 02/04/2004 1:49:01 PM PST by IonInsights
To: All Viacom Employees
From: Mel Karmazin
Date: February 03, 2004
RE: Super Bowl Half Time Show
As you know, the incident during the Super Bowl's Half Time Show on Sunday has received a significant amount of attention both in the media and in Washington, D.C. Because of the speculation and misinformation about what transpired, I want to update you on the facts and also on what we are doing to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.
First let me say that everyone at Viacom, CBS and MTV was shocked and embarrassed about what transpired at the end of our half time performance. Ms. Jackson's unrehearsed, unplanned and unapproved display went far beyond the bounds of what is acceptable under our broadcast standards. We apologized immediately and publicly to our viewers for the incident.
We also conducted an investigation and are satisfied that we handled the creation and staging of the half time show responsibly and that both CBS and MTV reviewed all planned aspects of the performances in detail and in advance. We have established that no one in our company was aware in advance of any plan to rip Ms. Jackson's clothing. Executives from MTV, CBS and the NFL attended all rehearsals and nothing like this was included in the show, which was verified by our review of videotapes from the rehearsals. Moreover, I have been assured that we would never have allowed the incident to take place had we known in advance. Janet Jackson has now publicly admitted that she and her choreographer came up with the idea after the last rehearsal and that no one at MTV or at CBS had any knowledge about her plan.
In order to prevent future incidents, we are immediately taking steps to minimize and hopefully eliminate the vulnerability inherent to live television.
irst, we are redoubling our already thorough oversight of all live performances -- to be sure that the standards of our networks are upheld and that what is presented is appropriate for the intended audience. Second, in addition to our longstanding policy to employ audio delete technology on live entertainment broadcasts, we will begin a video delete capability with the February 8 broadcast of the Grammy Awards on CBS. We believe that this new procedure will allow us to keep unplanned and unscripted-accidental or otherwise-incidents from occurring in the future.
Other aspects and segments of the half time show are being debated and criticized and will no doubt continue to be discussed over the next several weeks. We support the right of people to disagree with the choices we make just as we value and take seriously the public trust that is given to us. And we will continue to do everything we can to assure that our live broadcasts adhere to the same high standards as the programming we air every day.
Well this time they went too far, as these types always do. I bet my bottom dollar that even most of the young viewers in the audience were appalled. Otherwise, why all of the handwringing at Viacom? They're obviously getting negative feedback from even the targeted audience.
They just don't get that times they are a-changing.
Hey Mel.....we all don't have the IQ of a Democrat.
I dunno, maybe I'm too optimistic, but I gotta believe that there is still a large -- and growing -- number of young people who don't watch MTV, and that's more likely the type of kids who were watching the Super Bowl. I wonder how many I-want-my-MTV kids even bothered to watch the game?
Maybe the explanation is that MTV is actually losing viewership and this was a desperate -- and failed -- attempt to attract more numbers. One can only hope.
Interesting, if true. The obviously scripted breast flashing becomes nice cover to change broadcasting. If somebody says or does something the "minders" don't like, it can go down the memory hole before the sheep get to see it...IOW, no more "live" television.
"Ms. Jackson's unrehearsed, unplanned and unapproved display..."
Janet "the slut" had already admitted that she had PLANNED the stunt --- as obviously did her costume designer and nipple decorator..
"We have established that no one in our company was aware in advance of any plan to rip Ms. Jackson's clothing."
I doubt there is any evidence of a "rip"....that "costume" was designed to come apart on cue.
"CBS and MTV reviewed all planned aspects of the performances in detail and in advance........Executives from MTV, CBS and the NFL attended all rehearsals and nothing like this was included in the show,"
They ADMIT approval of the entire degrading, inappropriate and talentless performance - excluding the "flash"!
"..to be sure that the standards of our networks are upheld and that what is presented is appropriate for the intended audience."
Perhaps it would be interesting to learn from these "executives" - exactly WHO IS THE INTENDED AUDIENCE..
That should be interesting!
The writer of this childish CYOA memo - should be fired immediately.
It simply doesn't pass the smell test....It actually makes them look worse - and agitates me even more.
Those who speak for "everyone" are generally full of it.
All employees should be aware that we have covered our butts on this blunder, and that we've strongarmed Janet Jackson -- a second-rate nobody whose career is in mothballs -- into taking the bullet for us. You might have seen our babble-laden press release about how shocked we were and all that blah. That's our official story and we're sticking with it.
To prevent similar embarrassments in the future, the following programs are to be implemented immediately:
First, we are redoubling our already thorough oversight of all live performances -- to be sure that the standards of our networks are upheld and that what is presented is appropriate for the intended audience. Since the standards of our network are nonexistent, and we don't know bupkus about our audience, this is nothing but empty posturing. But it sounds good.
Second, we are insisting that any future productions of soft-core porn we air must be thoroughly screened in advance. Our executives must sleep with the featured performers and give them an official stamp of approval before said performers will be allowed to disrobe or copulate on stage. The only exception will be a song-and-dance number by Rosie O'Donnell.
Thank you for your continued discretion in these matters as we plumb the depths of depravity for more crud to auger into America's living rooms. With your support, we will make enough money to buy a small country and then we can make any kind of movies and shows we want nyah nyah nyah!
Meaning the 24 minutes of soft porn, debauchery, simulated sex, smut lyrics, crotch fondling, and garter belts that preceded Janet's breast?
Gee, what a surprise!
"And thanks for the mammaries."
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