Super Bowl 50 halftime artists made the decision to send a message to the viewers, unexpectedly through the traditionally homophobic NFL, to show support for the LGBT+ community and the Black Lives Matter movement.
British rock band Coldplay was booked as the halftime show’s top-biller, and they came out on a stage decked in rainbow. At first, the color seemed a nod to the color scheme on Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams album cover or their recent video for “A Hymn for the Weekend,” set in Mumbai, India, during the Holi festival of color. However, the band never played that song.
Chris Martin, the band’s frontman, let a fan wave an LGBT Pride flag in front of his face as he sang into the camera. The audience quickly realized the rainbow was a nod to LGBT support.
The next performance was Bruno Mars. The singer, dressed in full leather, danced along with his famous backup dancers as the introduction to Beyonce.
The day before, Beyonce released her new music video, “Formation,” which features controversial images such as Beyonce laying on top of a New Orleans police car that’s sinking with a voiceover yelling, “What ever happened to New Orleans?!”
Towards the end of the video, a little black boy in a hoodie is seen dancing in front of a row of policemen dressed in riot uniform, armed with shields. The music stops, the boy stops dancing, and the policemen put their hands up in surrender. Graffiti on a wall shows up on which says, “Stop shooting us” and the last shot we see is Beyonce sinking with the New Orleans police car.
Due to how politically charged her video was, everyone was expecting Beyonce’s performance to make some kind of large statement, and she fulfilled most of the expectations.
“Beyoncé carried the political themes forward in her aspect of the performance, with a powerful nod to the Black Lives Matter movement.
She sang “Formation,” her Saturday-released black body-positivity anthem, featuring lyrics like ‘I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros/ I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils.'”
Beyonce came out onto the field dressed in a combat general uniform, with a jacket that had rows of bullets forming an X on the front, a tribute to Michael Jackson’s jacket that he wore during his Superbowl performance in 1993.
Her backup dancers wore berets, natural afros, and all-black leather clothing, paying a tribute to the Black Panthers’ uniforms from the 60s and 70s.
The three artists sang in unison at the end of the performance as the camera widened out to reveal the message in the audience, “Believe In Love,” over a bright and colorful rainbow.
Although many did catch on to the secret message within the performance, not everyone was happy about it.
People on Twitter are threatening to boycott Beyonce’s new world tour as a statement against her performance and video being “anti-cop.”
They are also saying her use of the word “negro” in the song was inappropriate to use in a televised event.
Beyonce is standing by her statements and even made it clear that this was in support of Black Lives Matter by donating 1.5 million dollars to the movement through her co-owned music streaming company, Tidal.