This year's Super Bowl LIV went off without any hitches that reached the scandalous apexes of Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction back in 2004, but there were still controversial moments. Though largely celebrated, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's pro bono halftime show was criticized for being too racy, and much earlier in the evening, a key member of the musical interlude's production company, the rapper mogul Jay-Z, caught flak along with superstar wife Beyoncé for sitting down during Demi Lovato's national anthem. But the Roc Nation founder says it wasn't done in protest.
After footage made its way online of Jay-Z (real name Shaun Carter) and Beyoncé (Knowles-Carter) being planted in their seats during Demi Lovato's "Star-Spangled Banner" performance, the couple face much scrutiny online from those who questioned the presence of political motivations behind the act. Speaking at New York's Columbia University on Tuesday (via TMZ), Jay-Z was asked if staying seated in that moment was meant to convey a message. In Jay-Z's words:
Granted, Jay-Z wasn't exactly in a prime position to make grand protests against the NFL, seeing as how he'd only relatively recently signed the Roc Nation deal with the League to produce the Super Bowl entertainment. In fact, Jay-Z says both he and Beyoncé were entirely wrapped up in the behind-the-scenes production elements of all the performances that it completely took over their brains.
After Beyoncé shared that she was nervous for Demi Lovato, having previously performed during the big game herself, the musical couple discussed the audio volume being at a proper level to make everyone on the floor/stage really "feel the music," among other topics. Then it was time for the nation anthem. According to Jay-Z:
That was the point when Jay-Z realized just how he and his family looked by sitting down during the national anthem, at a time when Colin Kaepernick's kneeling protests still resonate quite loudly within the NFL and its viewing public. Roc Nation's deal with the NFL took on a lot of flak on its own at the time, with many of the rapper's fans being quite displeased by the team-up, despite the goals that Jay-Z set and felt he attained with this year's lineup of artists.
Jay-Z used that lineup as proof of the waves he's already making within the NFL. After explaining that he and Beyoncé wouldn't put their also-present daughter Blue Ivy in that position – he joked she wouldn't be able to patiently wait for any pre-planned protests anyway – Jay-Z said that sitting during the national anthem wouldn't be his style of protesting.
You can check out the video below for a look at Jay-Z and Bey staring intently at Demi Lovato's performance.
Will this be the last word on the matter? Is there ever a last word on anything? Here's hoping next year's Super Bowl halftime show entertainers (and pre-game anthem performers) bring just as much excitement as Jennifer Lopez and Shakira did. Also, if we could get 100% fewer creepy Jason Momoa commercials, that'd be great.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.