CNN panelists were surprised Monday that performers Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, and 50 Cent weren’t more political during their Super Bowl halftime show.
On CNN’s “New Day,” guest panelist C.J. Farley commented on rapper Eminem taking a knee, saying, “I didn’t know what was going on. And if people can’t tell what your protest is about, I don’t know how hard it hits.” He added that he was, “glad if it was a Colin Kaepernick tribute that they did it, because you know, something had to be said or done to acknowledge what was going on.” (RELATED: Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J Blige And Kendrick Lamar Perform All-Star Show At Super Bowl LVI)
The panelists did appreciate the game, with Farley saying it was “exciting.” He also noted that many trailblazers in the black community featured prominently in the show. For example, Mary Mary sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and Micky Guyton performed the National Anthem. But “nobody actually mentioned the guy that really helped inspire protests at the NFL level, and that was Colin Kaepernick,” Farley said.
“It was a little bit like putting a band aid on a tumor,” @marascampo says about the Super Bowl halftime show.
— Brianna Keilar (@brikeilarcnn) February 14, 2022
Guest panelist Mara Schiavocampo continued Farley’s point, saying it was “disappointing that Eminem was the only one who took a knee,” which showed that none of the other performers were “willing to take a position on the unspoken.” She also said it was a good night for hip hop and one of the best halftime performances of all time, but it was “bad day for the movement.”
“The NFL was able to successfully use black performers to distract black audiences from the issues that are important to them without making any meaningful change whatsoever,” Schiavocampo said.
Schiavocampo added that the NFL knows “they have a PR problem. The reason we know they have PR problem is because they did put all of this diversity in front of the camera. Now that’s a good thing… but that is not enough.”
Co-host Brianna Keilar tried to push the conversion to a more positive place, noting that the show was an “homage to Los Angeles.”
The Super Bowl stirred up various issues for the city of Los Angeles, including alleged attempts to hide the city’s homeless crisis from tourist hot spots. After the game, one person was shot as celebrations turned chaotic. The city has also been facing major crime spikes in recent years, which many blame on progressive District Attorney George Gascon.