Controversy has surrounded the Super Bowl halftime show, and artists like Cardi B, Rihanna, and Jay Z have reportedly turned down the opportunity to perform to an audience of over 100 million. Artists have made this decision in support of Colin Kaepernick, who faced hefty fines from the NFL for kneeling during the National Anthem in protest of police brutality. Akon said in a video captured by TMZ that he thinks these artists are making the wrong choice.
The singer said:
“You’re in this business for two reasons: One is to make an impact, and two is for the business of it. Now if you’re a philanthropist… If that’s something that you feel like you believe in, and you fight for it? You have every right. But if you’re doing it and you look at it as a way expanding who you are as an artist and as a business, you also have a right. I just think sometimes people take social issues and make it a lot [more] serious than it has to be. At the end of the day we all gotta live in this world together. And there’s always going to be somebody who feels they’re being treated unfairly, there’s always going to be an imbalanced situation, but as people we have to compromise certain situations to get to better places.”
Akon clarified his reasoning at the end of the video, saying, “Honestly, why wouldn’t a black artist want to not perform in one of the biggest events in the world? That don’t help us, we need you to be on that stage.”
Ultimately, Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi were recruited to perform the Super Bowl halftime show in Atlanta today. Travis Scott required the NFL to match a charity donation of $500,000 in order to play the show.