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Jennifer Lopez Is Under Fire for Her Comments About This Fellow Pop Star

The singer's Super Bowl performance with Shakira is a major topic in her new documentary.

It's been over two years since Jennifer Lopez and Shakira co-headlined the Super Bowl halftime show and put on one of the most exciting performances in recent years. Their show also marked the first time that there were two Latina headline performers. But, while their halftime show is remembered positively, Lopez's new Netflix documentary, Halftime, shows that it wasn't all smooth sailing leading up to the performance.

At one point in the film, Lopez calls it the "worst idea in the world" to have her and Shakira headline the show together. Then, while Lopez is making an argument for why a certain political statement should be allowed to stay in the show, she says something about dancing that some Shakira fans have found offensive. Read on to see how the singer is stirring up controversy due to her comments regarding Shakira.

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Lopez was not happy with the time she and Shakira were allotted.

Jennifer Lopez in "Halftime"

Because Lopez and Shakira were co-headlining the show, they had to split the time allotted for the halftime performance between them. This meant that they got around six minutes each.

We have six [expletive] minutes," Lopez says in the documentary (via BuzzFeed). "We have 30 seconds of a song, and if we take a minute, that's it, we've got five left. But there's got to be certain songs that we sing, though. We have to have our singing moments." She continued, "It's not going to be a dance [expletive] revue. We have to sing our message. This is the worst idea in the world to have two people do the Super Bowl. It was the worst idea in the world."

She then added, "If it was going to be a double-headliner, they should have given us 20 minutes. That's what they should've [expletive] done."

Some found Lopez's comments to be disparaging of Shakira.

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez in "Halftime"

In Halftime, Lopez makes it clear that she thinks she and Shakira should have been given double the amount of time, so they could both do solo-length Super Bowl performances. The film even shows Lopez on a call with Shakira talking about how to split the time. Still, some people got the impression that Lopez meant she didn't want to share the stage with Shakira at all.

"jlo saying that having two headliners was the worst idea in the world is so shady. she didn't want to perform with shakira," wrote one Twitter user. Another said in response to Lopez calling it the "worst idea," "She's right. They should've let Shakira do it alone."

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Lopez pushed back when producers wanted her to remove a political message.

Jennifer Lopez in "Halftime"

At another point in the documentary, Lopez argues with an NFL producer about a political statement she wanted to make during the halftime show, in which children performers would be in round cage-like structures, representing the cages children were placed in at detention centers the border. (This did end up happening in the actual show.)

During the call, Lopez says (via BuzzFeed), "I'm trying to give you something with substance, not just us out there shaking our [expletive] [expletive] and [expletive] belly dancing. I want something real. I want something that's gonna make a statement, that's gonna say we belong here and we have something to offer."

This was also interpreted as being offensive to Shakira.

Shakira in "Halftime"

While Lopez was talking about both herself and Shakira being seen as objects, Shakira is more associated with belly dancing. Fans were offended at this, believing that Lopez was implying that Shakira's form of dance is not "something with substance." Meanwhile, belly dancing has a long history and is one of the ways in which Shakira celebrates her Lebanese heritage.

"In new documentary, JLO compared bellydancing to just shaking the [expletive]," wrote a Twitter user. "She said this type of dance and what Shakira offered wasn't culturally relevant enough to be shown on stage. This comes after she said she was not happy to share the stage with Shakira. Bitter, loud & wrong."

Someone else wrote, "belly dancing literally apart of arab/middle eastern culture and shakira is half lebanese shes so disrespectful." Another Twitter user said, "No idea how JLO perceives belly dancing as irrelevant when Shakira is half-Lebanese and that's always been an integral piece of honoring her culture through stage presence I would argue there's plenty of substance in her co-headliner being proudly multi-ethnic."

Some people are defending both singers.

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performing the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show
Focus on Sport/Getty Images

In response to the controversy over Lopez's documentary comments, many fans are defending both Lopez and Shakira, saying that they are unnecessarily being pitted against each other or that Lopez's comments are being taken out of context.

I'm no JLo apologist, but in the film, she says she was unhappy that the NFL booked 2 official headliners but made them split the 13-minute time slot that's usually allotted to one act. I've seen the doc multiple times and there is no Shakira slander," wrote one person. Another tweeted, "Everyone, Don't feed the beast. #jlo and #shakira have known each other for many years and they respect and love each other. True jlo and shakira fans know the truth… it was the NFL these ladies were up against …not each other."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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