Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime performance sparked controversy and outrage among viewers, with many complaining to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about the sexual nature of the show.
The FCC reportedly received 103 complaints about Rihanna’s performance, which featured explicit lyrics and choreography that some viewers likened to pornography.
Many of the complaints focused on the sexualized nature of the show, with viewers expressing concern that children were being exposed to inappropriate content.
One viewer in California wrote, “I don’t care what someone worships but children shouldn’t be exposed to pornography and as an adult I don’t wish to see it…Where has decency gone? How about respect for others and self?”
Another viewer in Utah complained that “the halftime show was so indecent I had to turn off the TV because of the pornographic content.”
Many viewers were particularly disturbed by the background dancers, who they claimed made suggestive gestures that were “patently offensive and completely inappropriate for children.”
“When I'm with you, all I get is wild thoughts”https://t.co/iRY2u9XTDI@Rihanna@AppleMusic Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show@NFL@NFLonFOX#SBLVII#Rihanna pic.twitter.com/MKvx0x6rHp
— Roc Nation (@RocNation) February 14, 2023
Some also criticized Rihanna’s own dance moves, with one viewer in Florida complaining that “she spread her a** cheek at the crack. She rubbed her pants where her labia were three times.”
Despite the complaints, Rihanna’s show was relatively tame compared to some past Super Bowl halftime performances.
The infamous 2004 halftime show featuring Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction generated a whopping 540,000 complaints to the FCC.
Overall, the controversy surrounding Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime performance highlights the ongoing debate over the role of sex and sexuality in popular culture.
While some viewers may find such performances offensive and inappropriate, others argue that they are a legitimate form of artistic expression that should be celebrated and enjoyed.
As Rihanna herself has said, “I like to push the boundaries, but I don’t want to offend anyone. I just want to make people feel good.”