Right-wing pundit Candace Owens loved the Super Bowl halftime show. Her followers were not happy

Triptych with Charlie Kirk, Dr. Dre and Candace Owens.
Right-wing pundits Charlie Kirk, left, and Candace Owens, right, were split on their opinion of the Super Bowl halftime show starring Dr. Dre, center.
(Ross D. Franklin; Kevin C. Cox; Michel Euler; Getty Images / AP Photo)

The Super Bowl halftime show has long been a flashpoint for cultural grievances. Just ask Janet Jackson.

While we may never be sure who at the NFL knew that Eminem was going to take a knee, or which lyric changes the league demanded of Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre beforehand, the show itself, which also featured Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent, was a celebration of Black L.A. music and classic hip-hop that was instantly deemed one of the best halftime shows of all time.

Nevertheless, some right-wing commentators were quick to criticize both the league and the performers.

“The NFL is now the league of sexual anarchy,” wrote Charlie Kirk, podcaster and founder of the far-right activist group Turning Points USA. “This halftime show should not be allowed on television.”


“Dear @NFL / @pepsi What was the message of the #HalfTimeShow ?” wrote former Trump press secretary and “Dancing With the Stars” alum Sean Spicer.

Trump-loyalist author Nick Adams opined that “Ted Nugent, Kid Rock, and Lee Greenwood would put on a better Halftime Show,” while calling the participating artists “hoodlums.”

For many locals whose lives were soundtracked by classic West Coast hip-hop, the Super Bowl was more once-in-a-lifetime concert than football championship.

Feb. 14, 2022

When Candace Owens, a Black right-wing commentator and a favorite of Kanye West in his peak MAGA era, praised the set as “an excellent Super Bowl halftime performance. Undeniable hip-hop and R&B excellence,” her own fans revolted in the comments.

Her readership’s broad consensus: “The first time I haven’t agreed with you”; “This s— sucks. Just cuz you like the music doesnt mean it was good”; “You’ve got to be kidding. That halftime performance was painful”; and “Horrible. I knew I wasn’t the audience for that.”


Pop culture is reliable fodder for conservative broadcasters. In 2020, Ben Shapiro railed against Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s lascivious “WAP” video, while in the past weeks reimagined versions of M&Ms and Minnie Mouse became right-wing flashpoints on Fox News and beyond.