Jennifer Lopez and Shakira made history for Latino representation with the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show, but Lopez initially resisted the National Football League’s decision to sign two headliners for the event.
In a scene from his upcoming Netflix documentary Half an hour – which had its world premiere on Wednesday at the Tribeca Festival in New York – the whores The star is seen mapping out the show with her music director Kim Burse, with the duo stressing over the limited amount of time Lopez will have to perform.
“We’ve got six goddamn minutes. We’ve got 30 seconds of a song, and if we take a minute, that’s it, we’ve got five left. But, there have to be certain songs that we sing. We’ve got to have our singing moments. of a revue dance. We have to sing our message,” Lopez told Burse. “This is the worst idea in the world to have two people do the Super Bowl. It was the worst idea in the world.”
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Shakira and Jennifer Lopez at the Super Bowl.
In a separate interview for the documentary, Lopez’s longtime manager Benny Medina also expresses frustrations over the NFL’s decision to have two global icons occupy the coveted performance space.
“Usually you have a headliner at a Super Bowl. That headliner builds a show, and if they choose to have other guests, that’s their choice,” says Medina. “It was an insult to say that you needed two Latinas to do the work that an artist has historically done.”
In comparison, previous artists like Lady Gaga and Madonna performed solo shows at the Super Bowl for around 14 minutes and 15 minutes, respectively.
at the beginning of Half an hourLopez is shown having a preliminary discussion with Shakira about the performance and how long each of them will take during the set.
“I know the Super Bowl folks want us to be entwined throughout the show. I haven’t had a confirmation on how many minutes I’ll have,” Shakira tells Lopez, who responds, “Let me get this real quick. They said 12 minutes. I had good confirmation that we could have an extra minute or two, so now we’re at 13, 14. I think, Shakira, what we should have is that you should have half the time and I should [have half].”
“If it was going to be a double match, they should have given us 20 minutes”, concludes Lopez. “That’s what they should have done.”
Focus on Sport/Getty; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Jennifer Lopez and her daughter, Emme, perform on the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
A significant portion of Half an hour also traces Lopez’s creative process for her part of the performance, which was held in Miami during Donald Trump’s presidency, whose approach to immigration – particularly people of Latino descent trying to enter the United States – provoked intense reaction around the world.
Throughout the film, Lopez breaks her intention to highlight immigration injustices by having her daughter, Emme, begin singing her mother’s 2000 single, “Let’s Get Loud”, from inside a cage.
Many interpreted the image’s inclusion as a commentary on the US government’s treatment of Mexican children on the country’s southern border, and Lopez and Medina allege in Half an hour that when the NFL learned of the plan, they tried to cancel the scene just before the Super Bowl.
“We left rehearsal and I realized that everyone was freaking out, but I don’t know why,” recalls Lopez. “I get a call from Benny and he says, ‘They want to pull out the cages.’ That night, NFL superiors saw this for the first time and said, ‘Hey, you can’t do this.
Medina continues, “The NFL had a real concern about making a political statement on immigration. They looked at the plans and the message was absolute. They didn’t want these cages on the show. It came from the highest authority.”
Netflix Jennifer Lopez rehearses in the documentary ‘Halftime’.
Lopez says he finally felt a responsibility to carry on with the show, which was hailed as a “blunt and necessary political moment for a league that has been criticized for lacking so much,” EW’s Alex Suskind wrote at the time.
“For me, it’s not about politics. It’s about human rights. I’m facing the biggest crossroads of my life, being able to perform on the biggest stage in the world, but taking off the cages and sacrificing what I believe would be like never being there.” , she says. “There was a part of me that got really zen and I was like, ‘Benny, I don’t care what you have to do, we’re not going to change the show. The Super Bowl is tomorrow and we’re not going to change anything.'”
An NFL representative did not respond to EW’s request for comment. Half an hour premieres on Netflix on June 14.
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