Shakira & Karol G’s “TQG” Music Video Uses The Truman Show To Make A Point

The unexpected homage is fitting.

The combination of Shakira and Karol G is one fans knew they wanted — but the two singers threw in a surprise. Their buzzy new “TQG” music video references the classic ’90s film The Truman Show in a thought-provoking way. They seem to not just draw inspiration from their real-life breakups with famous men but also comment on truth and lies, privacy, and freedom.

The music video opens with people around the world watching a screen that shows Karol G standing on top of a building, followed by Shakira laying over a pool of water. Soon, the connection to the forward-looking 1998 film becomes clearer: There’s a man watching from a control room, just like Ed Harris’ character, Christof, the producer who decided to televise the life of Jim Carey’s Truman from birth. Red letters above the main screen read “On Air,” and already they’re sending the message that they’ve lived with lies and had their personal lives become public entertainment.

Shakira and Karol G go on to sing and dance in different settings, but they return to the Truman Show theme at the end of the music video. They wind up standing in front of a door at the top of a staircase, both of which are meant to create the illusion of an endless horizon. It’s almost identical to the one Truman used to free himself from the expansive TV set he’d been trapped in. Finally, the music video shows a man in a bathtub, celebrating Shakira and Karol G’s escape, again borrowing from the movie.

The song itself seems to draw on the two women’s experiences of moving on from relationships with alleged infidelity. When Shakira and longtime partner Gerard Piqué broke up in June, cheating rumors swirled. Karol G, for her part, was in a high-profile relationship with rapper Anuel AA before they ended their engagement amid rumors of him stepping out, per El Mundo. Both men quickly moved on to new relationships, and “TQG” is about being in that situation but finding more happiness and success on the other side.

The Truman Show wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice to reference in the music video, but many fans on Twitter found it fitting. “I loved the movie references to ‘The Truman Show’ in the Shakira and Karol G video,” one wrote in Spanish. “In the film, Jim Carrey lives in a fantasy bubble, a televised farce that he discovers at the end and decides to go out into the real world.” Many people compared scenes from the music video to specific ones from the film and discussed Shakira and Karol G’s message.

“The symbolism of Karol G and Shakira making references to The Truman Show is for me a representation of how their love lives, so real and painful for them, are only a source of entertainment and gossip for others,” one person wrote in Spanish. Another added that “they freed themselves from the falseness of the relationships they were in” while the whole world cheered. “SHAKIRA REALLY SAID SHOW IS OVER,” another fan tweeted.

The “TQG” music video already has more than 74 million views at the time of publishing. “When women come together, THE OUTCOME IS POWERFUL … Making history together,” Karol G wrote in Spanish on release day. Just two days later, Shakira noted the song’s quick climb up the Spotify global chart along with her ongoing success with “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53,” writing, “TQG at #2 on @spotify global chart. Two songs in the Top 6. It’s a pretty amazing feeling! Thank you all for the support!”