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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Seamus Duff

Janet Jackson's boob almost cancelled MTV's iconic reality show Laguna Beach

MTV’s iconic reality show Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County may have been known for all the D-R-A-M-A that occurred between the teen students on the show – but the series almost didn't exist at all due to the drama surrounding Janet Jackson's infamous 2004 Super Bowl ‘wardrobe malfunction’.

The iconic series aired on MTV from 2004 until 2006, launching the careers of Lauren Conrad, Kristin Cavallari, Stephen Colletti and Heidi Montag – and serving as a precursor to present day reality shows like The Kardashians and Real Housewives.

However the show almost never made it to air after 56-year-old Janet caused outrage at the 2004 Super Bowl when Justin Timberlake tore open her top, exposing her breast.

Laguna Beach stars Kristin, 35, and Stephen, 36 – who dated while taking part in the show – have this week launched a new podcast called Back To The Beach where they reflect on the series, 18 years after it aired, and explained how the show almost never made it to air.

Janet Jackson's 2004 Super Bowl halftime 'wardrobe malfunction' almost completely derailed MTV's Laguna Beach (Getty Images)

Back in 2004, producers of the show arrived at Laguna Beach High School to cast the teens that would star in the trailblazing reality series.

However, a spanner was thrown into the works after Janet’s wardrobe mishap sparked a backlash against MTV – with concerned parents then wanting to veto the series.

Stephen explained: “The next week [the casting producers] were gone they weren’t allowed to be on campus because it was early February and the Super Bowl halftime show with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s and whatever is that wardrobe malfunction where Janet Jackson’t boob revealed itself… um… that was an MTV production.

Laguna Beach stars Stephen Colletti and Kristin Cavallari are reviewing the show via a new podcast (youtube)

“So from there the PTA, parent Teachers Association… were like ‘All right wait a minute, wait a minute’.”

Recalling the furore over Janet and her breast, Stephen explained that, in hindsight, he was surprised that parents and teachers hadn’t questioned the intelligence of allowing camera crews to follow school kids around for months on end.

He said: “It is funny, that it took that. Like the red flags of wanting to shoot these kids and their lives is something but then this halftime show show at a Super Bowl where a wardrobe malfunction occurs all of a sudden the PTA was like ‘you know what? No way. That’s where we draw the line’.”

Kristin concurred, saying: “Yeah it’s interesting because initially they had the school on board they were supposed to shoot at school in the middle of class and then I think the parents to your point after MTV had the Super Bowl mishap then the parents said ‘What are we doing? Why are we letting these cameras in there? It’s going to be a huge distraction.’ And rightfully so by the way.”

Stephen added: “So the school pulled out but by that point they already found all of us so it didn’t matter so we filmed only on the weekends right? Because we were in school all week and I think sometimes maybe a Thursday afternoon after school but mostly it was Friday, Saturday, Sunday.”

The LA Times reported the backlash at the time, writing: “Laguna Beach Unified School District board members had tentatively approved the deal [to film at the school] ... last week with no opposition. But two days after Super Bowl Sunday, they scheduled an emergency meeting to reconsider.”

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While Ketta Brown, president of the school’s Parent Teacher Association, told the publication at the time: “I just don’t see any way the school can benefit from this or the community.

“Did you watch the Super Bowl? Let’s put it this way: I would prefer that my children not watch that network.”

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