Though it seems unlikely anyone is really expecting a repeat of Janet Jackson at the 2004 Super Bowl, Fox will air performances from Lady Gaga and the Hamilton cast at Sunday’s Super Bowl on a five-second tape delay, according to the Sporting News.
Lady Gaga, who will perform in the halftime show and is known as a politically outspoken artist, has promised a show celebrating “equality” and “inclusion.” And, as you’ve probably heard, the Hamilton cast, which will perform "America The Beautiful" during the pregame coverage, sent a message to Vice President Mike Pence when he attended a show of the popular musical in November.
After Pence was booed by attendees throughout the show, actor Brandon Victor Dixon read this statement: "Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you...We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights... But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us."
In other words: Lady Gaga and the Hamilton cast both seem like prime candidates to make a political statement on such a massive stage, and this tape delay may be insurance against it.
Though it’s not a huge surprise that Fox is airing all of its pregame and halftime coverage on a tape delay (it never hurts to be prepared), this decision will naturally draw questions because Fox and its sister channel Fox News are controlled by ultra-conservative business titan Rupert Murdoch.
It is worth noting Fox did not air the “All Lives Matter” protest from Canadian quartet The Tenors at the 2016 MLB All-Star Game.
The Super Bowl will kick off at 6:30 p.m. EST. Check out a full schedule of the day’s events here.