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Column: ‘Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson’ and other examinations of pop culture’s recent past don’t dig deep enough

In fact, Jackson has her own documentary — a career retrospective simply called “Janet” — coming in January on Lifetime and A&E. “This is my story told by me, not through someone else’s eyes,” she’s said of the two-hour special, and I’m curious to hear that story because it’s entirely missing from “Malfunction.” When celebrities are the driving force behind their own documentaries, the end result is almost always a carefully managed exercise in image maintenance. Still, it’s a point of view that’s been absent. We don’t know if she’ll address the Super Bowl show in “Janet,” but I hope she does because for too long people have been talking for her, casting aspersions and making assumptions without much consideration for how any of this might have felt for her.

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