Having her daughter be a part of the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show was a defining moment for Jennifer Lopez. The Grammy winner incorporated her then 11-year-old daughter Emme Muñiz into her halftime performance. In her new Netflix doc Halftime, Jennifer admitted that Emme wasn’t “nervous” at all to sing in front of millions.
“I wanted Emme to sit in the cage. Putting her on that big stage, although it would seem, like, scary for a lot of people, she doesn’t feel nervous because she’s next to me. So she knows that she’s gonna be safe up there,” Jennifer said.
She continued, “I said, ‘You look right down that camera, and you tell every little girl in the world to get loud and to never ever back down from bringing light to injustice.’ And, so that was…” Jennifer began to tear up as she thought about what this moment meant to her and her daughter.
“That was a big part of it for me,” a tearful J.Lo said. “And it was important. And I wanted to come out, after she did that, draped in the American flag, because I’m proud to be an American, but also I am not just American. I’m also Puerto Rican. And I wanted the flip side of that to be a Puerto Rican flag.”
Originally, Jennifer had thought about having Bruce Springsteen make a cameo to sing “Born In The USA.” However, she changed her mind and thought it would be “so much more powerful if Emme sings ‘Born in the USA’ as a little, young Latina girl.”
J.Lo wanted to make a statement about immigration during the Super Bowl halftime show, which she shared with Shakira. “Because these motherf**kers act like everybody’s an immigrant who’s trying to sneak into the country and who’s a criminal. ‘Cause that’s the narrative Trump created, which is bullish*t.”
The “On The Floor” singer also wanted to feature little girls singing in cages during the halftime show. She felt she “had a responsibility to not be quiet” about what was happening to kids being kept in cages at the U.S. border. Jennifer wanted to send a message that “you can’t keep us there.” She added, “The concept is this next generation is not going to be suppressed in the way we were.”
Just one day before the show, the higher-ups at the NFL wanted her to pull the cages from the performance and not make a political statement. “For me, this is not about politics, it’s about human rights,” Jennifer said. She fired back at the NFL and refused to take out the cages. The halftime show went as she had planned it. And the rest is history. Halftime is now airing on Netflix.