In 2004, during a Super Bowl halftime show Janet Jackson was shamed after Justin Timberlake accidentally exposed her bare breast live on stage. This year’s halftime performance by one band left social media divided and some confused.
Maroon 5’s Adam Levine chose to go topless causing controversy and sparking conversation.
Artists like Travis Scott and Big Boi all took to the stage with Maroon 5 to perform during the Super Bowl halftime slot. This year, the big event was held at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and even SpongeBob SquarePants was honored in a short clip.
Maroon 5’s lead singer, Adam Levine, 39, kicked off the event with songs like "Harder to Breathe," "This Love," and "She Will Be Loved." The tracks were from the band’s 2002 album, “Songs About Jane.”
Towards the end of their set, Levine decided to spice things up by removing his jacket and a tank top. He showed off his sweaty toned body which is adorned with tattoos.
Some of his fans loved the move and they shared their approval on social media. However, a few others weren’t impressed sharing that SpongeBob was better entertainment for them.
Another group felt that the move was unfair and sexist. They pointed out how Janet Jackson was shamed for having her bare breast accidentally exposed 15 years ago by Justin Timberlake, but Levine was praised instead.
The unfortunate incident was labeled “Nipplegate” and Timberlake hardly held the blame. Social media users dubbed the day #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay while some used the hashtag #ItsAMansWorld.
Maroon 5’s performance on Sunday also didn’t sit well with a number of fans who felt the band was snubbing ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In 2016, the athlete sparked controversy for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.
Kaepernick has not played football professionally since that season. Artists like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Pink, all declined the offer in support of the athlete.
Almost 115,000 people signed an online petition urging Maroon 5 to pull out of the event. Amy Schumer, Meek Mill, and Ava DuVernay all blasted the band.
SpongeBob SquarePants’, creator Stephen Hillenburg was honored at the event with "Sweet Victory.” Hillenburg died in November last year.
The cartoon character opened for Scott and a Twitter poll by a fan revealed that people preferred SpongeBob more than Maroon 5.
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