Super Bowl halftime show sparks political controversy

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez made history as the first two Latina women to headline a Super Bowl halftime show and left many wondering if they had a possible political message hidden in their performance.



Promotional poster for the Super Bowl halftime show featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

While the winner of the Super Bowl is usually what everyone talks about the day after the big game, the halftime show starring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira ended up leaving a larger impact on viewers. Many were inspired as two Latina women took the stage and performed their greatest hits; yet controversy sparked over possible political messages in the performance.

The show started out as many had hoped with Lopez and Shakira performing some of their biggest hits with fireworks, back up dancers, and costume changes galore. However, a one-minute section towards the end of the performance caused people to question the true intention behind it. Lopez’s daughter, Emme Muniz, and a group of children illuminated in cage-like structures, sang Lopez’s hit “Let’s Get Loud” and “Born in the USA,” as Lopez emerged wearing a Puerto Rican and American flag around her. Many took this as a political statement against Trump and current immigration issues.

Vanity Fair magazine wrote that the performance was “a possible nod to the thousands of children, most from Latin American countries, who have been detained at the border.”

Lopez later explained her message in the performance was a message of love and unity.

“The message was really about women and Latinos raising their voices and stepping up, and not being afraid to stand up for yourselves,” Lopez explained to E-News.  

Being a Hispanic young woman, it made me proud to see two Latina women take the stage and execute an amazing performance while sending a positive political message to the world. 

This is not the first time Lopez has spoken out for Puerto Rico; she and her fiance, Alex Rodriguez, raised millions for Puerto Rico after the Hurricanes in 2017 when the United States was slow to respond with aid.

“We just want to be treated equally. We’re Americans,” Lopez said regarding Puerto Rican citizens.

Puerto Rico continues to suffer from natural disasters, currently from multiple earthquakes. According to National Geographic, there have been 123 earthquakes of magnitude 3 or higher in Puerto Rico and six earthquakes of magnitude 5 or higher since late December 2019.

“People are tired. They feel ignored and forgotten,” the Washington Post writes on how Puerto Ricans are feeling in the wake of all the earthquakes.

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira used their platform during the Super Bowl halftime show to make a statement, and it definitely showed Puerto Ricans they are not being ignored.