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.
Translation: You only think you know what you saw. Allow us, Viaspinmastercom, to properly interpret what you think your eyes saw.
Every time some pompous public figure claims he was watching with his children and grandchildren and was stunned by the breast explant I am sickened at the idea that they were still watching what was clearly out of line debauchery. MTV is not allowed in our home regardless of age. We don't subscribe to XXX PPV either.
And then I realize that these pompous jackasses weren't really watching that crap with their family; they were really at the local 'gentlemen's club' getting a lap dance from their hooker honey.
And thanks for the mammaries.
Well, the Super Bowl was rated tripel X.
Joke courtesy of Jay Leno...
Original line deleted after the above: "Well, not really. (I mean we @ Viacom show a lot more porn that what children saw on Showtime every night...it actually takes quite a bit more to shock and titillate us)."
Embarrassed footnote tucked away: "Nobody's ever attempted to previously hold us accountable for what we air...'tis a humbling experience for hundreds of thousands of folks and the FCC to tell us that we are not the gods of the airwaves." Note: CBS' Martin Franks' quote in Tuesday article saying "our air time"--momentarily forgetting, of course, that the air waves belong to the public.
What? MTV folks embarrassed? Why those modest rascals. Here they were shydogs all this while about 'xposin' flesh and I thought otherwise. What say we all write Viacom & MTV a memo apologizin' for jumpin' to conclusions and false assumptions about the emotional make-up of these gatekeepers.
Back-office Viacom discussion that went into this phrase: "Nope. We're just a patsy. In fact, so were the performers. Nobody planned this. It just happened via spontaneous combustion. Yeah, that was it. There was no conspiracy 'tween the J performers. It was...it was...the law of gravity...yeah, an act of God. Seamstress? What seamstress? Choreographer? What choreographer? Why do you need choreography pertaining to a song about a girl gettin' naked?"
It's also a way of letting all employees know what the official story is. They contradict it at their own peril.
Translation: "We may sink low when we think the watchdogs aren't watchin', but even we aren't so stupid to be stuck with the wrath of the NFL and folks-at-large by giving anyone any official go-ahead.
"Can't say we haven't learned how to wink, nod & turn our head 45 to 90 degrees over the years."
Ah, yes. That "trust" thing. Time to veto it. We, John Q. Public, own the airwaves. You, Viacom, have flunked in your stewardship of these...License Renewal: Rejected!
"And thanks for the mammaries."
Glad you didn't suck up to them.
Phwaaaa Phwaaa --- PhwaPhwa PhwaPhwa Phwaaaa Phwaa
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