When a pregnant Rihanna, wrapped in red and flanked by Oompa-Loompa lookalikes, took the State Farm Stadium stage in Glendale, Arizona, and belted out a 13-minute set for Super Bowl fans, 118.7 million viewers tuned in, making her the second-most-watched halftime performer in the game’s history, second only to Katy Perry’s 2015 spectacle.
Rihanna halftime show FULL #riri #SuperBowl pic.twitter.com/HyahaSHnhb
— Tomás Mier (@Tomas_Mier) February 13, 2023
But faster than you can say “fumble,” critics jumped on Rihanna’s performance, with former President Donald Trump calling it “the single worst Halftime Show in Super Bowl history.”
Trump calls Rihanna halftime show ‘the single worst in Super Bowl history’ – what’s his beef? https://t.co/QzhfNDH6Kb pic.twitter.com/fHRjdwmFqB
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 13, 2023
The 34-year-old singer and actress raised eyebrows with gestures that were not exactly lady-like and a belt buckle that was… well… a belt buckle.
Bizarre charges of Satanism spilled onto Twitter, stumping even conservative commentators like Elija Shaffer.
I saw people who didn’t watch the super bowl argue about a pentagram belt buckle on Rihanna
When the images were just low resolution and it was a normal belt buckle
Wasted all their time arguing about satanic belts
HOW DO YOU HAVE TIME & ENERGY TO BE LIKE THAT?
— E (@ElijahSchaffer) February 13, 2023
It was all a bit much for NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, who had a few choice words for Rihanna’s critics: “Shut the f–k up.”
It’s not actually bad advice, considering that many of the same people dissing Rihanna for touching her crotch and smelling her fingers were likely cheering on Madonna 40 years ago as she writhed and wiggled on the Grammy’s stage in a wedding dress.
This is, after all, rock ‘n’ roll, and unless you’re at a James Taylor concert, you expect a bit of shock and awe.
On Shaq’s “Big Podcast,” the basketball icon called Rihanna’s extravaganza “beautiful.”
Shaq Share His Thoughts On Rihanna Super Bowl Half Time Show ❤️ pic.twitter.com/pWFCinHCuu
— ☈ihanna & Rocky ❤️ (@Rihannasnavybih) February 15, 2023
“All you people disrespecting my Rihanna, shut your face. Shut it up,” Shaq said. “I was there – it was beautiful. She did a great job. I didn’t know she was pregnant until she bust out, but leave this lady alone…”
“You did a great job. I love you,” he continued. “All you people that got something to say: shut the f— up.”
People, Shaq said, don’t know when to keep quiet.
“We living in a world where people got too much freedom. Keep your f–king thoughts to yourself,” he stated. “She did a wonderful job, she’s pregnant, she blessed it, she did her thing, she didn’t fall. Just leave it there. All you superstars that’s disrespectful and causing beef, shut your face. Shut it up.”
But some people just can’t help but hate on Rihanna.
Days after her Super Bowl appearance, British Vogue released its new cover featuring Rihanna, rapper A$AP Rocky, and their beautiful baby boy in what the magazine calls “a family portrait.”
A new era begins – and for @Rihanna nothing will ever be the same. Fresh from the Super Bowl and that very special announcement, Rihanna is British Vogue’s phenomenal March 2023 cover star – but this is no ordinary cover. This is a family portrait: https://t.co/dYosr4a6Ah pic.twitter.com/xx4h7LisKU
— British Vogue (@BritishVogue) February 15, 2023
“Demasculation project never sleeps,” wrote one Twitter user who was apparently offended because Rihanna is walking in front of her man, proving that people simply enjoy complaining about things.
Demasculation project never sleeps. https://t.co/MZGfgCqsvx
— 17 May (@Sabattta) February 18, 2023
And now, people are having fun complaining about Shaq.
“Oh I forgot…you celebs live a different lifestyle than the majority and are totally ok with something like that on national television,” one Twitter user wrote.
“I guess he a illuminati supporter two,” another remarked, grammar be damned.
Oh I forgot…you celebs live a different lifestyle than the majority and are totally ok with something like that on national television.
— ma368 (@ma36810) February 18, 2023
I guess he a illuminati supporter two
— Joshua Torres (@Alpha_W0lf_Pack) February 15, 2023
Dressed in red, grabbing your crotch and smelling your fingers isn’t a show. Well it is a show put on by the devil. Pure evil that needs to be called out.
— P Renan (@Renan7P) February 17, 2023
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