We all know by now the acts that perform at the Super Bowl halftime show — an event that draws over a hundred million viewers worldwide despite the opportunity for a bathroom break — often have an agenda. And they use the exposure to send both overt and subliminal messages about that agenda.
Rapper Eminem, for example, took a knee during the Super Bowl halftime show in February.
M.I.A sent a message … by flipping off America during her portion of the 2012 show.
Madonna used the show to perform some weirdo pagan ritual thing.
Then there was J-Lo.
Jennifer Lopez did the halftime show in South Florida in February of 2020 and she absolutely came to the performance with an agenda — a couple of them actually.
She put kids in cages during the show to bring awareness to the plight of illegal immigrants, whose children were temporarily separated from their parents and held in cages under the Trump administration — a practice, the Obama administration introduced.
Lopez had at least one other message she wanted to deliver during her halftime show, according to her Netflix documentary Jennifer Lopez halftime, but this one was quickly vetoed because it was highly, highly controversial.
Lopez wanted to use the female gender symbol to celebrate women.
That was the big controversy.
“We just want to get the woman symbol up at the front,” Lopez told show director Hamish Hamilton during the documentary. “It’s gotta be subtle. We have to be subtle with our message, because people don’t want to be hit over the f***ing head with it.”
Hamilton wasn’t having it.
“The only thing within [the show] that isn’t subtle and actually is contentious, given everything going on with identity politics at the moment, is the female symbol,” he said. “I think that that could be viewed by some people as being actually exclusive, and I think also it seems to be a little bit on-the-nose and something that might have been at a Super Bowl a while back.”
Hamilton apparently believes women are too 1970s or something. Didn’t Lopez know this?
“It doesn’t seem to have the artistry,” Hamilton added. “I understand the meaning behind it, but I think that what you’re saying within the show is way more powerful than having that symbol out there.”
To be clear, Hamilton had no issues with the children in cages bit but the female symbol was “contentious” in his opinion.
The NFL, according to Lopez, was not happy about the cages when it found it they were in the show the day before the game.
“We left rehearsal and I noticed everybody was freaking out, but I don’t know why,” Lopez says in the documentary. “I get a call from [manager] Benny [Medina] and he’s like, ‘They want to pull the cages.’
“That night, the higher-ups at the NFL saw it for the first time and they’re like, ‘Hey, you can’t do that.”
Said Medina: “The NFL had a real concern about making a political statement about immigration. They looked at the plans, and the message was absolute. They did not want those cages in the show. That had come down from the highest authority.”
The highest authority? Obama didn’t want his cages in the show?
Whoever the highest authority may or may not be, it’s obvious that as early as 2020, the idea of celebrating women and feminism and everything that comes with it was starting to become “contentious” in the minds of some people.
It has reached a point in 2022 that biological males are allowed to compete against, and often clobber, biological females in inter-collegiate sports and the women are told to remain silent.
It has reached a point that a Supreme Court justice nominee refused to define a women because, she said, “I’m not a biologist,” but also because she knows that would torque off the radical left.
It has reached a point that a sitting governor of one of America’s great states won’t used the word “women” but rather refers to them as “menstruating people.” And that governor is a woman.
There’s a culture war going on, folks, and women are apparently being used as cannon fodder, including by other women.
Anyway, J-Lo fought back.
She did her show at Hard Rock Stadium. The 50-something woman rode a stripper pole and won the day — according to her — by including both the female symbol and the Obama cages, which she intended as a commentary on Trump.
“For me, this isn’t about politics, this is about human rights,” she said in the documentary. “I’m facing the biggest crossroads of my life, to be able to perform on the world’s biggest stage, but to take out the cages and sacrifice what I believe in would be like never being there at all.”
The cages and female symbol ultimately remained in the show. But J-Lo has since bowed to pressure about the woman thing.
At a recent concert, Lopez introduced her daughter Emme and used gender neutral pronouns (first time ever I have typed that phrase) in referring to the child.
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero