Despite earning praise aplenty from many of the 102 million who tuned in to watch, pole dancing, belly dancing, big big booties, and bared midriffs proved to be too much to bear for some viewers of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira‘s 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show – as evidenced by the whopping 1300+ complaints lodged against it to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The FCC – which acts as the United States’ “primary authority for communications law, regulation, and technological innovation” – recently revealed some of the grievances filed against the NFL and FOX (the network that broadcast the football championship) thanks to the ‘sexually charged’ showing of the two Latin superstars.
With objections to the content labelled everything from ‘X-rated’ to ‘softcore porn,’ look inside to see highlights:
“The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received 1,312 complaints from viewers who had something to say about the halftime show featuring pop queens Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.The singers danced on poles, twerked, belly danced and made more than a few sexually suggestive gestures.”
- “Jennifer Lopez’s performance at the Super Bowl halftime show was extremely explicit and completely unacceptable for a event where families including children are watching,” a Utah viewer said. “I had to send my children out of the room so that they weren’t exposed to something they should not have seen.”
- “My family was very excited to watch the Super Bowl tonight,” a viewer from Washington complained. “However, I was not prepared to explain to my 11 yo daughter why Jennifer Lopez was dressed so scantily or why she kept grabbing her crotch…”
- “The half time show was very sexual in nature. I have never seen so many sex poses outside porn magazines,” a New York viewer said. They also complained about “sexy tongue wagging” and “butt shaking.”
- “What are you teaching young girls?” a Wisconsin viewer said. “Dance around half naked to make men excited then claim #MeToo for harassment? It’s ok to be some sexual being and shake your naked rear end and expose your crotch and dance on a pole in front of the world?”
“In our country there has been a push for women’s rights and more opportunities along with the Me too movement which is a good thing,” one Ohio viewer said. “This takes us back to where women get their worth from their sexuality not their brains/personality and I don’t appreciate it on a family friendly broadcast.”
“This is not appropriate family entertainment as the Super Bowl advertises. It was appalling! And then having young girls join the spectacle,” a Kentucky viewer said. “No wonder there is sex trafficking when you call this family entertainment. And where’s the Me Too women? Do you not see the hypocrisy?”
“Jlo grabbed her crotch, danced on a stripper pole,” said a Pennsylvania viewer. “Costumes were barely there! With everything going on now with the Me Too movement this is not something that should have been on TV prime time.”
“Jennifer Lopez’s gyrating on a stripper pole with her butt and her crotch smack in front of my eyes, my husband and children was an affront to women and children and violates your rules,” one person from Tennessee said. “I will be boycotting Pepsi and their products and unless you can guarantee a decent half time show next year, we will boycott the Super Bowl.
“It was EXTREMELY offensive to me and my family. Together, those who object will boycott Pepsi and the NFL if this is acceptable entertainment for their games,” another viewer from Maryland complained.
“I am appalled at how a television network allowed such a disgusting display of the degrading of women and basically a porn show during the hours of family viewing,” a New Jersey viewer said. “This has pushed me to boycott this network and the NFL. Both obviously missed the description of what it is to empower a woman.”
Although complaints to the FCC about the Super Bowl Halftime Show are far from a rare occurrence, female performers have historically been on the receiving end of more backlash than their male counterparts. As we reported here, last year’s Maroon 5-led halftime spectacle only received 94 complaints despite the band’s leader – Adam Levine – performing topless. Before that, official grievances against Justin Timberlake‘s 2018 and Bruno Mars‘ 2015 outings were scant.
Granted, Katy Perry (2014) and Lady Gaga‘s (2017) safe performances left viewers relatively unscathed as neither saw complaints reach triple digits, Madonna (2012) and Beyonce (2013 and 2016), on the other hand, both ruffled considerable feathers.
The all-time record is still held by pop Queen Janet Jackson, however, as her 2004 nipple-baring show raked in over 500,000 complaints.