After weeks of controversy and speculation about who would join them on stage, Maroon 5’s halftime performance is finally over. And the celeb reaction to the show is fierce.
Within minutes of Maroon 5 taking to the stage for the Super Bowl 53 halftime performance, Twitter was abuzz with people commenting on the show. Celebs and media commentators were quite vocal. Sports journalist Jemele Hill tweeted about the performance, which included guest appearances by Travis Scott, 26, and Atlanta rapper Big Boi, 44. Her withering take on the show was, “If gentrification were a Super Bowl halftime show…” Actress and comedian Sandra Bernhard, 63, slammed Maroon 5’s performance by tweeting a photo of a shirtless Adam Levine, 39, writing, “Wardrobe malfunction in the midst of the worst halftime show during the lousiest #StuporBowl in history.”
Meanwhile, actress Sophia Bush, 36, noted that Adam was topless by sharing a tweet drawing a comparison between how he was treated for showing his chest and the way Janet Jackson was slammed for her nipple-baring wardrobe malfunction during her Super Bowl performance in 2004. She shared writer Glennon Doyle’s tweet, which said, “Poor Adam he showed his nips at the Super Bowl so now his career will be ruined like Janet’s. OH WAIT Never mind!!!!”
The Today Show’s Willie Geist was upset that Big Boi wasn’t on stage for longer. He tweeted, “Criminal underuse of @BigBoi. You have to bring out Andre 3000 there. @Outkast #SuperBowl.”
Actress Amber Tamblyn was outraged by the halftime performance. Will & Grace star Debra Messing shared the 35-year-old’s tweet, which read, “Hi there while you’re enjoying this mediocre Maroon 5 halftime please remember a football legend was blacklisted from this entire sport for merely putting his knee on the ground in protest of black people being murdered. Enjoy your pop music!”
Maroon 5 were between a rock and a hard place from the very moment they agreed to headline the halftime Super Bowl performance in Atlanta this year. A handful of stars – from Rihanna to Cardi B – were rumored to have turned the gig down in solidarity with quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whom many celebs feel has been iced of the profession by the NFL for protesting during the National Anthem. So, what should have been a career highlight for Adam and his bandmates – Jesse Carmichael, 39, Mickey Madden, 39, James Valentine, 40, Matt Flynn, 48, PJ Morton, 37, and Sam Farrar, 40 – quickly turned into a controversy with multiple celebs slamming them and Travis Scott for taking the gig. (Surprisingly Outkast rapper Big Boi, 44, seemed to be immune from the criticism.)
On Oct. 19, 2018 Amy Schumer, 37, wrote a lengthy Instagram post urging other artists to sit this year’s Super Bowl out. “I think it would be cool if @maroon5 backed out of super bowl like @badgalriri Did. I personally told my reps I wouldn’t do a Super Bowl commercial this year,” she wrote. Amy also added, “Hitting the NFL with the advertisers is the only way to really hurt them. I know opposing the NFL is like opposing the NRA. Very tough, but don’t you want to be proud of how you’re living?”
Meanwhile, a handful of stars also slammed Travis for agreeing to perform with Maroon 5 at the Super Bowl. Comedian Nick Cannon, 38, spoke out on Jan. 22 during an interview with TMZ’s Raquel Harper, telling her, “That decision wasn’t for the culture.” Meanwhile, Atlanta rapper T.I., 38, hinted that he thought Travis was being selfish for agreeing to perform, telling TMZ a few days earlier saying, “Nobody can tell someone when to be selfless.”
— Sandra Bernhard (@SandraBernhard) February 4, 2019
— Sophia Bush (@SophiaBush) February 4, 2019
The only question remaining is, now that the halftime show is over and done with, will the controversy surrounding the artists last? Only time will tell.