‘A display of soft pornography’: 47 North Carolinians complain to FCC about J-Lo, Shakira Super Bowl halftime show

‘A display of soft pornography’: 47 North Carolinians complain to FCC about J-Lo, Shakira Super Bowl halftime show
Shakira, left, and Jennifer Lopez perform during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Source: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Despite a thrilling second half resulting in Kansas City’s first Super Bowl win in 50 years, it’s safe to say one of the most talked about aspects of the big game was the halftime performance featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

Reaction to the Feb. 2 show was largely positive, with many praising the stars’ dance choreography and its cultural significance. But their performance left some viewers questioning its appropriateness, particularly for younger viewers.

Some were so outraged by the performance that they took their complaints to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In response to numerous Freedom of Information Act requests, the federal agency earlier this week posted redacted copies of the more than 1,300 complaints, including 47 from North Carolinians, it received regarding the show.

“I’m so disappointed in the NFL, Pepsi, and Fox Sports for their raunchy, low-class half-time show,” a viewer from Monroe, NC, wrote. “For so many of us, the Super Bowl is a family entertainment affair and is no place for stripper poles, crotch-grabbing, and hyper-sexualization. My family and I literally said to one another, ‘What the hell were they thinking?’, and then we turned off our TV.”

Many complaints specifically noted the performers’ costumes, described by some as “indecent,” and close-up camera angles depicting what one Apex, NC, viewer described as “borderline porn.” One of the most strongly-worded complaints came from a Greensboro, NC, viewer the day after the Super Bowl.

One of the most strongly-worded complaints about Super Bowl 54's halftime show came from a Greensboro, NC, viewer the day after the Super Bowl.
One of the most strongly-worded complaints about Super Bowl 54's halftime show came from a Greensboro, NC, viewer the day after the Super Bowl. (Source: Federal Communications Commission)

Only one resident from the Cape Fear area wrote the FCC.

“The halftime show was completely inappropriate for children and quite frankly any moral adult,” the Wilmington viewer wrote. “It (sic) sexual nature amounted to soft core porn.”

Super Bowl LIV drew around 100 million viewers, according to data from Nielson, meaning the 1,312 complaints received by the FCC represent one one-thousandth of a percent of all viewers.

For comparison, the FCC received a record-setting 540,000 complaints following the now-infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime performance, The New York Times reported. And last year’s performance by Adam Levine yielded 94 complaints, according to Deadspin.

Read through the 1,312 complaints below. Note: Some of the complaints contain graphic language, so viewer discretion is advised.

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