Latin pop artist Jennifer Lopez responded to critics who felt that her Super Bowl halftime show with Shakira was “too sexy,” saying the criticism is “silliness” and contending that the performance was “a celebration of women."
“Both of us are really respectful performers who are moms and have kids and are very conscious of what we do,” Lopez told Variety. “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 fraction of people who want to be negative about it, I can’t even let in.”
That’s “honestly silliness,” Lopez said, adding that the dance carried a message of “standing up for yourself, being a woman.”
“That’s what I want to pass on to little girls — everything about you — be proud of it. I’m very proud of the performance that night.”
Featuring several of their most well-known songs from over the years, the two artists danced at Super Bowl LIV, which was held in Miami this year, with lots of hip-shaking and were at points barely clothed around stripper poles. Lopez's daughter also sang. Criticism followed.
Ryan Bomberger, co-founder of The Radiance Foundation, argued that "Latino culture was not celebrated during the Pepsi Halftime Show; it was exploited."
"Funny how in this #MeToo era, entertainers seem to vie to be as naked and as sexual as possible–not on a director’s couch–but in front of over a hundred million sets of eyes. J-Lo, Shakira, Pepsi and the NFL let down a generation of girls and boys who deserve so much better than the fake feminism on full display Sunday night," he said.
John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, called this year's performance "by far the raciest halftime since Beyonce."
"In the midst of our culture’s ubiquitous calls to protect kids and women from abuse and harassment, especially in this #MeToo era, we pretend that as long as we call it 'art' or 'female empowerment,' that this sort of overt sexualization will magically have none of the consequences we now complain about," Stonestreet said.
Some compared the performance with some social scourges and sex trafficking that frequently occurs at major sporting events.
“We wonder why the Super Bowl is a hotbed of sex trafficking...meanwhile we applaud for literal pole dancing during the halftime show. Degrading women has tragic cultural consequences,” commented One American News Network host Liz Wheeler.
Kristen Ruby, a commentator and president of Ruby Media Group, tweeted, “You call it dancing and entertainment. I call it what it is: softcore porn. Our society is really crumbling.”