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I like Jennifer Lopez and am a big fan of Shakira. (Dónde Están Los Ladrones? is one of my favorite albums.) I didn’t watch the Super Bowl halftime performance until recently, and thought it was great. It was what I expected: lots of spectacle, and both Jennifer and Shakira know how to put on a fun, energizing show. I was happy to hear a few seconds of “Ojos Así,” and also knew that it meant that Shakira would be belly dancing! (Not that that’s the only song that she belly dances during, but it’s a given that if she sings “Ojos Así,” she’s going to belly dance.) And, of course, not everyone was happy with Shakira and Jennifer’s performance. 1,312 people complained to the FCC about it. People felt that it was inappropriate for children and that it also somehow promoted sex trafficking(?). CNN has a sample of the comments:
Not appropriate for children
Many parents were left fuming after watching the show with their kids. Nearly half of the 1,300 complaints mentioned that the halftime show was inappropriate, especially for children.
“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. My daughter was asking if she was feeling sick from having so much skin showing.”
“No wonder there is sex trafficking”
“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?”
This makes me both tired and angry. I’m not sure why people are shocked every year by the halftime show. They are meant to be spectacles, to get people talking and to entertain. Visible skin and suggestive moves shouldn’t be surprising to anybody. I have less-than-zero patience or time for anyone who isn’t smart enough to understand the difference between entertainment and illegal activity. Someone might not find either Shakira or Jennifer entertaining, and that’s fine, but no one should have any problem distinguishing between someone’s idea of entertainment and an atrocity. I have no patience for anyone who chooses to clutch their pearls and weep for what “the children” are being exposed to, and ignore the obvious difference between people having agency over their bodies, performing and having fun, and sex-trafficking. Hell no. To suggest that the two have any connection is irresponsible, dangerous, and does a huge disservice to victims.