Jennifer Lopez: Sharing Super Bowl stage ‘worst idea in the world’
Jennifer Lopez wasn’t happy to be sharing the stage with Shakira during the Super Bowl LIV halftime show. But not because of any sort of rift with Shakira.
Rather, she didn't like that the NFL forced the two Latina superstars to have to split performances in a condensed amount of time.
In the new Netflix documentary "Halftime," which chronicles Lopez's preparations for her February 2020 performance at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens during halftime of Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, the "Waiting for Tonight" singer revealed her frustration by the limited amount of time she and Shakira were allotted.
"We have six (expletive) minutes," Lopez says in the documentary, which premiered Thursday at the Tribeca Festival (formerly known as the Tribeca Film Festival) in New York.
Lopez goes on to say it's "the worst idea in the world to have two people do the Super Bowl."
Her longtime manager, Benny Medina, also appears to take a shot at the NFL during the documentary.
"Typically, you have one headliner at a Super Bowl," he says. "That headliner constructs a show and, should they choose to have other guests, that's their choice. It was an insult to say you needed two Latinas to do the job that one artist historically has done."
In fact, the NFL has invited various performers to share the Super Bowl halftime stage in the past (Gloria Estefan and Stevie Wonder in 1999, for example), although Super Bowl LIV was the first to do so since the controversial Janet Jackson-Justin Timberlake incident in 2004.
The NFL, which has faced criticisms of being tone-deaf to issues of racial or social injustice, did its part to make sure the diverse Latin culture of the Miami area was on full display during Super Bowl LIV – South Florida's first Super Bowl in more than a decade – by tapping Lopez and Shakira to perform.
It was a performance that received plenty of praise, but as "Halftime" reveals, the time crunch may have been more troubling to Lopez than she let on – at least publicly – at the time.
In a scene with Shakira, Lopez suggests that they each get half of the 12 minutes allotted as opposed to combining their performances as the NFL intended.
"If it was going to be a double headliner, they should have given us 20 minutes," Lopez says in the documentary.
"Halftime" also shows how Lopez fought to have the plight of immigrant children separated at the U.S.-Mexico border incorporated into the performance, but it was scrapped at the 11th hour from "the highest authority in the NFL," Medina explains.
Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar shared the stage during the most recent Super Bowl halftime show earlier this year.
"Halftime" begins streaming Tuesday on Netflix.
Scripps Only Content 2022