Country singer Riley Green, best known for his hit 2018 single “There Was This Girl”, landed in some hot water for his tweet regarding the Super Bowl 2020 Halftime Show which some believed to be offensive. The tweet in question read, “Great game… but can I get somebody to translate this Super Bowl halftime show so I know what they are singing about??” Many believed that Green’s tweet was in poor taste and was disrespectful both to Shakira and to the Spanish-speaking community. One Twitter user remarked, “it’s sad to see that you can’t respect people of different cultures”.
Great game… but can I get somebody to translate this Super Bowl halftime show so I know what they are singing about??
— Riley Green (@RileyGreenMusic) February 3, 2020
Green took to Twitter yesterday to clarify his position and to state that he had meant no offense to the performers. Green claimed that he had commented about translation because he was interested in the content of the songs being performed, saying, “to anyone offended by my tweet saying I wanted to know what Shakira was singing about….I’m a country songwriter and I listen for the story. I said and meant nothing negative about anyone. Both are very talented women.”
To my fans and those who know me THANK YOU for the support. To anyone offended by my tweet saying I wanted to know what Shakira was singing about….I’m a country songwriter and I listen for the story. I said and meant nothing negative about anyone. Both are very talented women.
— Riley Green (@RileyGreenMusic) February 4, 2020
Green also thanked his fans and supporters for standing by him through the controversy by saying, “to my fans and those who know me THANK YOU for the support”.
Many of the responses to his tweet have been positive, with one fan stating, “I’m Latina, I was not offended by your tweet. Lol. Still a fan. You’re also entitled to your 1st amendment right. You don’t owe anyone an apology. It’s your platform & media. Post what you want.” Other’s remain skeptical of the tweet, with some maintaining that Green’s original statement contained offensive undertones.
Green is not the only musician who had a controversial response to the Halftime Show. Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider received some attention for his barrage of tweets criticizing what he perceived to be an overly-sexualized performance. Snider criticized what he referred to as the “pole humping, ass slapping, ass shaking” showing by Shakira and Jennifer Lopez and claimed that the NFL was disrespecting the rock genre by not having a popular rock band like ACDC perform. Responding to the online criticism which followed his statements, Snider tweeted, “I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH
@shakira OR @JLo!! I just want to see some real rock represented at the @SuperBowl @NFL !!!”
— Dee Snider🇺🇸 (@deesnider) February 4, 2020
Generally, the Super Bowl 2020 Halftime Show continues to receive positive attention, with many praising the performances of Shakira and Jennifer Lopez. Vice News called the show, “a dazzling display of Latina starpower” and Billboard drew attention the subtle political undertones of the performance, remarking that “several [people] applauded Lopez and Shakira for bringing awareness of the humanitarian crisis at the Southern border to the Super Bowl and encouraging discussion about it with their platform afforded by the halftime show.”