The Super Bowl Halftime Show has always been widely touted and publicized, with a more and more extravagant show and off-the-wall performance being guaranteed every year.
Originally featuring performances by college marching bands, the Halftime Show now focuses on expanding the viewer demographic by making the Super Bowl more appealing to non-football fans. During Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, the show put on by Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake resulted in a huge controversy following a mid-performance wardrobe malfunction. Janet Jackson’s indecent exposure could obviously not be censored during the live performance, and despite claims by the two singers that the incident was purely accidental, suspicions of a scandal resulted in embarrassment for all parties involved with the show.
The NFL, MTV (who produced the show), and CBS were highly scrutinized in the days following the incident, and legal action was even taken by citizens across the nation. To counteract the negative publicity that the 2004 Halftime Show received, the NFL has scheduled older, more conservative bands to perform over the past several years. Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Who, among other bands whose members are all over the age of 40, have taken the stage in recent years. These bands, however, have put on largely disappointing and lackluster halftime performances and have proved far less appealing to the Super Bowl’s audience, which is made up mostly of those under the age of 40. The Black Eyed Peas are scheduled to perform at halftime show this year, finally ending the older-aged stint and leading many to be apprehensive over whether the show will go over smoothly or lead to more controversy.
In my opinion, the NFL slightly overreacted to the 2004 incident, but it was a result of the ridiculously wide-spread and over-the-top reactions of the media and millions of viewers. The NFL and involved networks took the necessary steps during the aftermath of the event, immediately issuing apologies and conforming to additional censorship demands by the FCC. There was no need to go on a 7 year hiatus in terms of young, popular performers, which has effectively decreased the interest of the Super Bowl’s audience. Hopefully the Black Eyed Pea’s show will go off flawlessly this weekend and the NFL’s unnecessary need to find further ways to cut back the promiscuity of the Halftime Show will be dead forever.