Surely you remember the Super Bowl halftime show. It happened only a few weeks ago and arguably clinched the win for butts that evening. Many viewers heartily enjoyed the spectacle, a sexy sprint through Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s greatest hits. There was athletic dancing, there was a pointed message of support for Puerto Rico, there was Latinx music performed in Spanish, which has never happened before in the Super Bowl’s history. There was also an abundance of freaky moves and slinky costumes, the combination of which set some viewers’ teeth on edge.
According to a collection of over 1,300 FCC complaints, many football fans became enraged by the sexiness on display, the descriptions on the tickets calling the performance “patently obscene,” “offensive and inappropriate for kids,” “not in good taste,” “too revealing,” “highly indecent,” “raunchy,” “WAY too close showing cleavage and butts,” “pornographic,” and — as one viewer wrote without any elaboration — “Jennifer Lopez.”
“Why are we showing pornstyle dancing during prime time?” read one complaint, out of South Carolina. “This is family time. Our children are being bombarded with porn, as if it is normal.”
Other halftime shows, of course, have sent sections of the audience into a sexual panic, and certainly, this raft of outrage does not even approach the maelstrom generated by Janet Jackson’s Justin Timberlake-induced nip slip in 2004. (540,000 complaints!) This year, many of the viewers who wrote in took issue with the lack of fair warning, which accidentally obligated a lot of kids to watch with their parents (embarrassing). Many called for boundaries.
“There needs to be limits imposed on the amount of buttocks revealed and shaken in front of the camera, and an end to the simulated sex acts of male/female grinding,” read one complaint, from Kansas.
“NOT FAMILY ORIENTED! ASS SHAKEN AND VULGAR COSTUMES NOT GOOD FOR YOUTH TO VIEW! How could you have stooped so low! No class!” read another, from Texas, promising: “Last time I will watch!”
The complaints go on basically that way, and I think you get the picture. I suppose we all have our different tastes and no one halftime show could ever appeal to all of them. Bruce Springsteen reportedly loved it, though.