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  • Tristan Johnson

2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show Strikes Controversy in All of the Right Ways

Over 102 million Americans watched the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. In case you somehow missed the social media uproar that occurred after the halftime show of the 54th Super Bowl, popstars Jennifer Lopez and Shakira brought the house down and stirred the pot. The performance occurred in Miami, coined by BBC reporter Luis Fajardo and many others as “the capital of affluent Latin America.” Lopez, of Puerto Rican descent, and Shakira, of Colombian, were the perfect pairing to represent the Latina community.

Shakira started the performance with her biggest songs, including “She Wolf,” “Whenever, Wherever,” and “Hips Don’t Lie.” Shakira invited Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny on stage with her to sing Cardi B’s “I Like It” and join together for “Chantaje.” Next, Jennifer Lopez appeared with her esteemed classic song “Jenny from the Block,” and followed it with “Waiting for Tonight,” “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” “On the Floor,” and “Let’s Get Loud.” Lopez was then joined on stage by Colombian star J Balvin to sing “Mi Gente.”

In a city that is more than 72 percent Hispanic, showcasing the art and beauty of a population that is being criticized during this highly-politically sensitive time was the perfect timing. Lopez’s 11-year-old daughter Emma joined her mom in singing “Let’s Get Loud” as the camera panned over a chorus of children singing along in glowing cages, obviously in reference to the children actually being caged along the Mexico-United States border. Jennifer Lopez also appeared draped in a Puerto Rican flag, showcasing support to the territory that has recently gone through many disasters.

But of course, such a performance cannot be met without some type of controversy. Everyone’s favorite peace-loving organization, One Million Moms, created a petition to tell the NFL how the halftime show was in bad taste. When signing, the statement that follows is “I am completely disgusted with Super Bowl LIV’s halftime show. My family asked the NFL to keep the entertainment family-friendly, and instead, you delivered barely dressed performers and a stripper pole. You should be ashamed to be associated with such a vulgar performance.”

But let’s throw it all the way back to the halftime show of 2019, where the majorly forgotten performance of Adam Levine involved him shirtless and singing sexual songs. Where was the uproar for this performance? Why are people only mad when it involves two powerful women embracing themselves and showcasing confidence? After last year’s lackluster performance. Lopez and Shakira were definitely a breath of fresh air.

Rolling Stone reporter Suzy Exposito stated that for fifteen minutes, millions of Americans watched “Latinas, both mothers, confidently basking in their sexuality. Latinas speaking out against the abuse of migrants. Latinas schooling Anglo-Americans on the racial and cultural diversity of Latin Americans, especially the kind we still don’t see represented enough on television.” And this, regardless of your opinions on the way Lopez and Shakira performed, is why the 2020 halftime show was beautiful in nature.


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