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A new Netflix documentary called Halftime takes an inside look at Jennifer Lopez’s 2020 Super Bowl, in which she and Shakira took the stage to perform some of their biggest hits. Fans may remember that near the end of the show, kids appeared in cages, as a statement condemning detaining children in ICE detention centers.
The documentary revealed that this portion of the show nearly got cut.
When conceptualizing the show, Lopez said to her choreographer, “This girl from the Bronx, this girl that’s a Latina landed on this stage somehow and is here to represent our culture, our music and women everywhere. I’m thinking a great moment would be to have these fantastic little girl dancers I just met along with hundreds of other girls in light cages. A choir of little girls singing. We want a feeling of Latinos in cages…and you can’t keep us there. We won’t have that. The concept is, this next generation is not going to be suppressed in the way that we were.”
Later on in the documentary, she is seen in a meeting talking to higher-ups from the NFL. During the meeting, which took place a day before the actual Super Bowl, Lopez recalls feeling a “weird vibe” after running through the concept. Her manager later explained that the NFL had concerns about the cage portion and wanted her to pull it.
Lopez doubled down and refused to give in.
“For me, this isn’t about politics; this is about human rights,” Lopez said. “I’m facing the biggest crossroads of my life — being able to perform on the biggest stage of my life, but to take out the cages and sacrifice everything I believe in would be like never being here at all.”