How Janet Jackson's Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction changed Lost

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012

We knew those penalties in the aftermath of Janet Jackson's 2004 Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction changed TV, going so far as to cause many stations to refuse to air an unedited version of Saving Private Ryan for fear of being fined. But until now, we never knew that the so-called "Nipplegate" also affected what we saw on Lost.

In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Carlton Cuse explained how the FCC's announcement that it would start issuing more severe penalties for indecency affected Lost:

"After 'Nipplegate,' there was a higher level of scrutiny by Standards and Practices. It created a real sense of uncertainty about what constituted indecency. I remember sitting with [an ABC executive] going over a love scene frame by frame and debating how much of Kate's lower breast we could see while Sawyer was lifting up her shirt."

How nice to know that ABC was so worried about our delicate sensibilities! But it's also interesting to note that as usual for network TV, there's more worry about sex than violence. We're willing to bet no ABC exec ever went frame by frame through the scene in which Arzt exploded!

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