Shakira and Jennifer Lopez put their Latina heritage front and center of the show, with the former – who was born in Colombia – taking to the stage shouting ‘hola Miami!’ before bringing out rapper Bad Bunny who sung in Spanish.
But it was J.Lo who made the bigger statement during her performance, when the lights rose on children, including her own 11-year-old daughter Emme, sat in cages – which appeared to reference Trump’s headline immigration policy that has seen children detained after attempting to cross the southern border illegally.
Emme began by singing part of her song Let’s Get Loud before J.Lo appeared in a giant American flag coat, which had the Puerto Rican flag on the other side. ‘Latinos!’ she shouted as she threw the coat open before breaking into a rendition of ‘Born in the USA’.
A source had ahead of her performance that Emme would sing on stage ‘as the symbol of the American dream’.
On Twitter one viewer wrote: ‘Shakira and J.Lo put kids in cages, protesting the American government’s treatment of immigrants and Puerto Rico in the same 10 second clip, with all of America watching. And they both looked hot as hell while doing it. That is how you use a platform.’
Another said: ‘I loved the half time! It represented more than your people understood with the kids in cages, dressed in all white (immigration protest last year we all wore all white), the lights made a “fence” background, J Lo w/Puerto Rican flag singing Born in the USA.’
Others noted: ‘J Lo’s daughter Emme sings “Let’s Get Loud” surrounded by kids in glowing cages.
‘Kids are still in cages at the border.
‘ J Lo draped in US flag revealed as a Puerto Rico Flag sings “Born in The USA” with Emme.
‘Brown people have rights too.’
And one viewer said: ‘Some people so busy arguing about J Lo on a pole shaking her booty that they missed the message…Did you notice? Kids in cages while singing ‘let’s get loud’ and ‘born in the USA’.’
Another said they had watched the show five times, adding: ‘It’s exuberant. So much joy but I loved the dig at Trump with the children singing in cages including j.lo’s own daughter. Amazing moment.’
The Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy at the US-Mexico border wall has led to hundreds of children being separated from their parents.
The separation policy was adopted across the entire US-Mexico border from April 2018 until it was ended in June 2018 following national and international criticism.
Since June 2018, despite the official end of the separation policy, hundreds of additional children have been separated from their parents, according to official reports.
In March 2019, the government reported that since that time, 245 children had been removed from their families.
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform reported in July 2019 that over 700 children have been separated from their parents since the policy’s end.
In a nod to her Puerto Rican heritage, Lopez donned a feathered cape for the performance that showed the US flag on one side and the Puerto Rican flag on the other. The singer was born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, and she has donated at least $1 million in aid to the island since Hurricane Maria in 2017.