Jennifer Lopez and Shakira wowed audiences with their stunning Super Bowl LIV halftime show, but it’s not just their music earning the two women praise. The Hustlers star’s subtle political statement during the performance thrilled some viewers — and angered others.
Lopez was dancing on stage with her 11-year-old daughter Emme for a somber, minimalist version of “Let’s Get Loud” when she sang out the chorus of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.”
Although Springsteen’s song is often played at Fourth of July events around the country in celebration, the song is actually a dark story about a Vietnam veteran who returns to the U.S. after fighting, only to be let down by his country. Many have interpreted it to be a critique about Americans deserving more from their country.
During the performance, as Lopez belted out that “Latinos” should “get loud,” she was wrapped in a showy flag made out of feathers that featured the American flag on one side and the Puerto Rican flag on the other. Just prior to the Springsteen chorus, dozens of children dressed in white outfits emblazoned with the American flag appeared on the periphery of the stage.
At first glance the children appeared to be sitting in glowing spheres. But shortly after vertical bars appeared that seemed to symbolize the separation of children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border and their detention in rooms that critics have likened to cages.
Behind the stage during this segment of the performance was what looked to be a giant chain link fence made out of lights.
“Replaying the halftime show, tears – JLo and Shakira brought the children in cages on stage, then JLo says ‘Latinos, Let’s Get loud’ as Emme sings ‘Born in the U.S.A’ with the ‘fence’ background…POWERFUL STATEMENT,” tweeted one political writer.
Another praised the performers for making the political statement.
Political activist Amy Siskind noted the inclusion of Springsteen’s song.
Born in the USA - JLo just stuck in political statement on immigration ????— Amy Siskind ????️???? (@Amy_Siskind) February 3, 2020
Not everyone was happy with the performance, however. Fox News hosts took issue with the message, saying that it was a jab at the president, as Mediaite reports.
“A lot of people thought is this something going after the (Trump) administration … put kids in cages, and that is what Democrats say about Republicans about their policy,” Brian Kilmeade said.
The politics of the show weren’t the only thing under the microscope. Some criticized the singer for dancing on a stripper pole during her performance.