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Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show leads to mass FCC complaints for being too sexualized

This year's Super Bowl halftime show is "too sexy" for viewers.

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation

It’s been a week since the 2023 Super Bowl and it was revealed that not everyone is happy about the halftime show performance. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC for short) revealed that it received hundreds of complaints, claiming that the show was “sexualized” and compared it to “porn.” Yes, people believed that this year’s halftime show was too sexy for viewers.

According to TMZ, a majority of the complaints that the FCC received involved how the choreography and lyrics of Rihanna‘s songs were “too sexualized.” I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that “Diamond” and “Umbrella” were seen as one of Rihanna’s greatest hits. The entire song wasn’t sung and it has the most subtle choreography. The same can be said for “Only Girl,” “Where have you been,” and the rest of her performance.

Unfortunately, hundreds of people were able to find something to complain about Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show. One compared Rihanna’s performance to Sam Smith’s and Kim Petras’s Grammy performance of “Unholy,” claiming that “decency is gone.” It’s funny that the person who made the complaint was from California, one of the more progressive states in the USA.

“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?”

Meanwhile, there were a handful of complaints about Rihanna’s dancing and how “it’s pornographic” and “too overtly sexual” to the point where people turned off their TVs. There was a specific complaint where Rihanna “spread her a** cheek at the crack. She rubbed her pants where her labia were three times.”

The scene in question was probably her performance of ‘Rude Boy’ during the intro before she started dancing.

This isn’t the first time the Super Bowl received many complaints from viewers due to its “sexualized” Super Bowl show. Back in 2004, the infamous Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” with Justin Timberlake generated over 540,000 complaints to the FCC and sparked an investigation, according to CNN. It wasn’t until 2008 that The New York Times reported that the court cleared CBS of any wrongdoing and didn’t have to pay the $550,000 fine.

What’s interesting about Rihanna’s half-time performance was that fans noticed the singer was not energetic and suspected that the singer was pregnant (which was later confirmed by her representatives). So I guess this year’s performance was met with mixed reactions. On the bright side, it seems like the FCC won’t be investigating this performance.

About the author

Erielle Sudario

Erielle Sudario is a Digital Producer for We Got This Covered. Outside of work, she's either DM'ing a 'Dungeons and Dragons' campaign, playing video games, or building keyboards. Erielle holds a Bachelor of Communications Degree (specializing in film and journalism) from Western Sydney University and a Graduate Diploma in Radio and Podcasting from the Australian Film, Television, and Radio School.