It’s been days since Justin Timberlake took to the Minneapolis U.S. Stadium’s field for a show-stopping Super Bowl Halftime Show, but that certainly hasn’t slowed any chatter around the event.
Beyond mixed reviews and overall backlash, the former NSYNC leader is still fielding criticism surrounding the inclusion of a Prince tribute which featured a projected image of the late music legend singing his hit, ‘I Would Die 4 U.’ While some argued the recognition was befitting given the locale of the performance, others argued it was disrespectful due to Prince & Timberlake’s turbulent history and the legend’s longstanding disapproval of use of his likeness after death.
As the critics continue to weigh in, the Halftime show’s producer – Emmy winner Ricky Kirshner – took to the defense of this year’s headliner by reminder detractors The Purple One’s family had to authorize and approve any use of his image.
See what else he said inside:
Just a day after sources took to press to indicate Timberlake was originally planning to use a hologram of Prince but nixed the idea last minute due to impending backlash, Kirshner comes through to confirm the opposite. He denies a hologram was ever in the plans and that no last minute changes were made to Justin’s set-list or performance props.
Kirshner on hologram:
“…to refute any stories that were out there,” he stresses, “There was never an idea to have a hologram.”
Kirshner on how hologram rumors got started:
“I can’t speculate as to what someone saw, but I do know that all of our people are not authorized to talk to the press so whoever was there and saw something they shouldn’t have seen shouldn’t have been there to begin with. Justin has always said that he reveres Prince — his [2016 Netflix concert film] was dedicated to Prince — we were in Minneapolis, we thought it would be the right thing to do, and I still believe that.”
Kirshner on use of Prince’s image:
“They [Prince’s family] absolutely gave us the audio and authorized Warner Bros. to give us the footage.”
The story above was lifted just a day after Prince’s estate said in a statement:
“Justin Timberlake, the NFL and the City of Minneapolis used the stadium and the city to give a beautiful hometown tribute to Prince. The two pieces of footage that appeared on the screens were licensed from the ‘Purple Rain’ movie and a vintage performance in Syracuse, NY.”