NPR Music Critic: Justin Timberlake Super Bowl Halftime Performance Embodies ‘White Male Privilege’
Monday, National Public Radio music critic Ann Powers reacted on “All Things Considered” to Sunday’s Super Bowl LII halftime performance by Justin Timberlake, saying the artist was “not right for this moment.”
“[T]he entire performance was shrouded in the sense of Timberlake not being right for this moment — and the Janet Jackson controversy haunted it,” Powers explained. “He chose to perform the song ‘Rock Your Body,’ during which the famous wardrobe malfunction took place, and yet he didn’t mention Janet. He didn’t shout her out, and he stopped the song right before the line during which he ripped off her costume.”
“So, it was almost like he was trying to erase what had happened in the past, but that is just not flying in 2018,” she continued.
According to Powers, Timberlake embodies “white male privilege” because his music does not reflect the “moment of struggle” that the country is apparently in now in 2018.
“[W]e are living in a moment of struggle, and we want our pop music to also reflect that struggle,” said Powers. “And, frankly, Timberlake now embodies that phrase so often spoken today: white male privilege. It’s just not a good look for 2018, and it’s really, in some ways, not his fault. It’s just who he is.”
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