The NRA Urges Lady Gaga Not To Get Political With Super Bowl Performance

Christina Lee | February 4, 2017 11:32 am
Gaga Preps for Super Bowl
She built a stage in her backyard so she could rehearse for the performance of a lifetime.

Even the National Rifle Association felt the need to chime in on what they want of Lady Gaga‘s Super Bowl halftime performance this Sunday. On the organization’s network NRA TV, conservative political commentator Bill Whittle urged the pop superstar to not bring politics into her performance.

“Once again they’ve chosen a gigantic progressive mouthpiece for their Super Bowl halftime,” Whittle said. (He was referring to Beyonce‘s Super Bowl performance of “Formation” last year as the precedent.) “I can remember days when Michael Jackson or somebody would do the Super Bowl and politics didn’t enter into it because they understood that they’re performing for the entire nation and not for the staff at MSNBC.

“I think if Lady Gaga comes out there and makes this an anti-[Donald] Trump tirade, I think that’s really the final step of the declaration of war between our pop culture people and the actual citizens,” he added. “This is not the Kennedy Awards. This isn’t the Oscars. This is the Super Bowl where real Americans get together and have a real fun day and the last thing they want to hear is how stupid and racist they are.”

Never mind that Michael Jackson’s 1993 halftime show — what Whittle likely remembers, because it is the greatest in Super Bowl history — featured songs like “Black or White, “We Are the World” and “Heal the World” at his own urging. A producer told The New York Times that, while the idea of reaching a wider audience was appealing, he was also adamant about making a statement as pointed as Gaga typically gets now. “‘Billie Jean’s just a tune, it doesn’t mean anything,” Jackson said. “It’s a new world, this has to be about ‘Heal the World.'”

If Whittle’s commentary mirrors the NRA’s criteria for a successful Super Bowl halftime show, then the organization won’t likely be happy with the outcome.

Earlier this week, Gaga was cautious when she talked about what’s in store for the Super Bowl. “The only statement that I’ll be making during the halftime show are the ones that I’ve been consistently making throughout my career,” she said at a press conference. “I believe in a passion for inclusion. I believe in the spirit of equality, and that the spirit of this country is one of love and kindness. My performance will uphold those philosophies.”

Given her track record, though, being about “love and kindness” for Gaga doesn’t necessarily mean that she’ll defend the status quo. Remember, Gaga has been a career-long supporter of LGBTQ rights. And the Academy Award-winning “Til It Happens to You,” which she co-wrote with Diane Warren, was written from the perspective of sexual assault survivors — amplifying voices that often get silenced.

Watch NRATV talk Lady Gaga’s upcoming Super Bowl performance below.

[via Billboard]

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