Lady Gaga’s Halftime Show A-Political?
Remarkable, outstanding, yet inconspicuously political would be a fine way to describe Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl Halftime Performance.
Lady Gaga sang excerpts of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” and parts of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.” The latter of which has political undertones that addresses a nation currently being divided by a Commander In Chief who wishes to ban Muslims and all other non-white immigrants from entering the United States.
In its own right, Gaga’s “no matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered life” verse, during the performance of her smash hit “Born This Way,” was very much a political statement; or a flipping of the bird to President Trump, and his new administration.
Her usage of subtle political imagery was effective. However, it would’ve been awe-inspiring to see Gaga perform that powerful verse while representing various identities on an equally powerful background.
With that said, critics must take into account the backlash the NFL received last year for Beyonce’s Black Panther-esque performance. The simple fact is that it is a Super Bowl Halftime Show, not a campaign rally, or a Women’s March, or even, a Gay Pride event.
The Halftime Show is not meant to be a partisan occurrence. One doesn’t tune into a Super Bowl Halftime Show envisaging political speeches by performers — the Super Bowl Halftime Show is meant to entertain.
The Super Bowl Halftime Show is supposed to like Gaga herself stated, during her performance, to “…make you feel good.”
However, Gaga has a long history of activism behind her. She is well-known for speaking at the 2009 National Equality March in Washington, D.C., and consistently voices a strong stance when it comes to LGBT rights and issues.
Moreover, the Super Bowl is a televised event that boasts a huge viewership worldwide. Over 100 million people tuned into the 2017 Super Bowl, a viewership that reached its peak during Gaga’s performance.
It would be an unwise business move for the NFL to schedule performers who intend to make bold political statements. Performers who brazenly speak about issues during performances, would cost the NFL a significant portion of viewers because, believe it or not, not all viewers oppose President Donald Trump.
In short, I do, per contra, think Gaga had a responsibility to say, do, or demonstrate something that speaks out against what’s going on in our country. One cannot have a long history of championing LGBT rights and then be provided one of the biggest platforms in the world and avoid speaking out about injustices. This is where her music comes into play. Although she did not speak verbally against pressing issues, she gave a performance that relied on powerful lyrics to convey a message of unity.
***This article was first published by Christopher Rengifo for theticker.org***