The Super Bowl reigns supreme as TV's biggest event of the year, and this year's nail-biter between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs ended with an impressive late-game comeback. Still, the parts of the game that got the most attention – both positive and negative – had nothing to do with football (or Jason Momoa's makeover) and everything to do with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's high-energy halftime show. And Lopez doesn't have time for anyone saying it was controversial for its sexiness.
Many viewed J-Lo and Shakira's combined performance as being one of the most successful Super Bowl halftime shows ever, while a smaller (but highly outspoken) group of critics were nowhere near as impressed with the pop stars. Lopez's stripper-inspired pole dancing, which coincides with the relatively recent release of the movie Hustlers, was just one aspect that had some viewers claiming the performance was too sexual for families to watch together. Lopez called it all just "silliness" though. In her words:
I think that’s honestly silliness. Both of us are really respectful performers who are moms and have kids and are very conscious of what we do. We (put on) a show that I believe was a celebration of women and our Latino culture that I think was really well reserved. And that small faction of people who want to be negative about it, I can’t even let in.
Considering Jennifer Lopez and Shakira both have children of their own, they are no strangers to having to make judgment calls about what kinds of TV content is proper for younger eyeballs. But one could also assume that both women's kids have always been privy to watching their dance routines and rehearsals, and that neither pop star would ever add something to an act that would be truly traumatic for children to see.
As Jennifer Lopez put it to Variety, the biggest takeaway she hoped for is for female viewers to find pride in themselves. Here's how she put it:
The message of standing up for yourself, being a women – that’s what I want to pass on to little girls – everything about you – be proud of it.
The responses to Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's halftime show hit everywhere on the critical spectrum, but perhaps the most outrageous take came from a Christian show host in Ohio who is legitimately considering hitting the NFL with a lawsuit over the performance. Time will tell if that ever happens, but it will likely be a complicated process to achieve a victory there.
You can check out Jennifer Lopez detailing more about the Super Bowl LIV halftime show performance in the clip below from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Super Bowl halftime show critics set the stage for their lambasting long ago built, but everything reached its apex back in 2004 when Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction occurred. And that involved a still-covered boob, so nothing has really evolved all that much in the 16 years since. You'd have thought the woman who actually did intend to add surprise nudity to the Super Bowl would have gotten the bulk of the blowback here, but no.
Critics won't have to worry about any other mini-concerts like that on such a grand scale, since the Super Bowl won't be back in primetime for nearly another year. Not that there won't be at least 365 other TV moments drawing ire from sensitive viewers along the way. Stay tuned for everything that's on the way with our Winter and Spring TV premiere schedule.