Watch: What Michelle Obama Said About Halftime Show Before It Happened Is Raising Eyebrows
First Lady Michelle Obama revealed in a pre-game Super Bowl interview that she “cared deeply” about what turned out to be the controversial, anti-police half-time show featuring Beyonce among other performers.
Media outlets noted before the game that Beyonce was expected to perform her new single Formation, which the singer released on Saturday night before the Super Bowl.
As reported by Western Journalism, the song and the music video have a strong anti-police, pro-Black Lives Matter message in them.
The video opens with her on top of a flooded New Orleans police car, and later includes police officers in a riot line holding their hands up as a young, hooded African American boy does the same.
The latter is a clear reference to the Ferguson protesters’ cry of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” which federal and state investigators determined to be a false narrative about the Michael Brown shooting.
The words “Stop shooting us” spray-painted on a wall next appears. The video ends with Beyonce being completely submerged along with the New Orleans police car.
Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance featured her in an outfit with an “X” on it. The singer and her backup dancers also formed an “X” during their performance as a tribute to Malcolm X, the 1960s Muslim black rights leader.
Additionally, the backup dancers wore berets reminiscent of the Black Panthers; and some posed for a picture before the program with their right arm held up and hand clenched in a fist, as a tribute to the Black Power movement.
Whether the first lady was aware that Beyonce intended to perform Formation before she sat down with CBS’ Gayle King on Sunday is not clear. “I care deeply about the halftime show. Deeply,” she told King. “I got dressed for the halftime show. I hope Beyoncé likes what I’ve got on,” Obama joked.
Beyoncé said in an interview, which aired on Friday, “I remember growing up watching the Super Bowl with my family. It’s an event families come together and watch.”
Many, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, wondered why the singer then chose to use one of the world’s largest stages to denigrate police officers and make a controversial political statement. “So if you’re going to have entertainment, let’s have decent, wholesome entertainment, and not use it as a platform to attack the people who put their lives at risk to save us,” he said.
As reported by Fox Business, Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke asked Beyonce to simply apply the Golden Rule and consider how she would have reacted if the half-time show had made allusions to the Ku Klux Klan.
“Them coming out, Beyonce, in those Black Panther type uniforms, would that be acceptable if a white band came out in hoods and white sheets in the same sort of fashion? We would be appalled and outraged,” said Clarke.
“The Black Panthers are a subversive hate group in America. I think she could have done a better job,” he added.