'Twerking should go up there with the F-bomb': Rihanna Super Bowl FCC complaints are here (2023)

Return of the Karens

Rolling StoneThe FOIA raised, solicited and selected the craziest and most puritanical objections to Rihanna's halftime show

Gather everyone!It's that special time of year again: theFCC claimsabove thatSuper Bowl Halftime ShowI arrived!

Rolling Stonegot the proverbial TV executive's complaints about a Freedom of Information Act request, and you best believe people were mad about itRihannaperformance. In all, the FOIA request returned 103 pages of complaints, and nearly all of them concerned Rihanna — her gyrations, groin tightness, finger sniffing and rude texts. (There were a few exceptions, like the person who complained that announcer Terry Bradshaw "shamed" Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid by "calling him 'Grandão' three times and then 'here ginga' said").

As is often the case, the vast majority of complaints about Rihanna's performance were so outrageous thatwon't-anyone-please-think-of-the-childrenair, insist that theSuper Bowlit's "family friendly" programming and that the National Football League and its broadcast partners should be ashamed of themselves for showing such crap - as if football itself isn't built on itbrain and destroying life Violence. Like Rihanna touched her ass or something a month ago, a player doesn'tI almost died on national televisionaftergo into cardiac arrestafter onehitting in the field.

(Video) Rihanna's Super Bowl Show Creates 100 + FCC Complaints, Gunna Leaves YSL + More

But we digress. Below is a carefully curated selection of some of our favorites.FCCComplaints about Rihanna (or, as at least two people called her, "Rhiannon"). Some of these comments have been edited for size; absolutelynonehave been edited for spelling, punctuation, or clarity.


“The sexualization, the grabbing of genitalia, the smell of his fingers, the man taking off his jacket and twirling around while singing lyrics that are very inappropriate for a family sporting event. I will NOT watch next year if you disrespect our nation in this way.”

"Rhianna, spinning and grabbing the butt and crotch is too far for TV. It seems like almost every year performers want to do some version of that in their dance. Please put a stop to it.”

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“Also, 4 of the songs she wanted to sing were about sex. This is supposed to be a family show..."

"Constant air hops and the glamor of being a stripper are not kid-friendly at the Super Bowl."

"Very disappointed to allow this to be played on such a big stage. America is better than this.”

“She opened her buttock in the crack. She rubbed her pants where her lips were three times.

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"I was floored by Shakira's halftime show. She's pregnant and pumping her pelvis while holding her crotch, and another time she and her backup dancers put their hands in the cracks of their asses and pumped... I'd rather have the malfunction from Janet Jackson's Wardrobe, That Was an Accident for That Shit.

"Can we please do a halftime show where the performer isn't groin grabbing or trying to spank the lead singer? I really don't want to see 30 backup dancers playing cymbals. Eh. Also, Twerking must be maneuvering there up with the F-bomb.

“I only tuned into this play because my wife wanted to see what the halftime show was like (I recorded the game on DVR). And I didn't watch anymore. That was more than enough for me in just 20 seconds of watching... I really hope the NFL moves past the current culture's disastrous view of the future and embraces more virtuosic, family-friendly productions. And if they don't, the FCC will do something about it. Our young people are being bombarded on all fronts with all manner of negativity and vulgarity; You don't need that from America's most popular sport either."


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"In 1972, Woody Allen made a filmEverything you ever wanted to know about sex* (*were afraid to ask). Around 1975, this sex comedy was shown at the drive-in theater then located in Russell Co., KY. I never forgot, particularly the white uniforms worn by the sperm characters. Rihanna's halftime show surprised me, to say the least... but the obvious Woody Allen factor did NOT escape me."

"If I went to a place where there were children and did the same movements, I would probably be arrested."

"Halftime show https://genius.com/Rihanna-super-bowl-lvii-halftime-show-lyrics"

"Why do I have to explain to my kids why Rihanna rubs the squat then sniffs her hand during a Super Bowl halftime show?"

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"For the most part it was a pretty quiet halftime show and I don't hear Ree Ree but my 15 year old daughter does and I sat with her and enjoyed the show, as did many of her many fans and families of all ages as well. and literally she grabbed her pussy and sniffed her fingers and made a facial gesture at someone I don't know why this wasn't mentioned other than a few memes and Larry Elder also pointed this out.

"If 100 people gyrating and grabbing their buttocks and crotches on the NFL Superbowl (Fox) halftime show on live TV isn't rude, I don't know what is."

"The scratching of my groin and anus and the smell of my fingers make me vomit. The devil sequence was obviously unchristian and therefore inappropriate."

"I'm not a prude nor is Karen but this to me is on top if not behind what Janet and Justin did!!! Is it because she said she's pregnant now?... And FYI - I live in Pa but NOT I have a favorite team. I was just watching the game to enjoy time with my family."

“The show was supposed to have an R/X rating and was NOT suitable for children. How awful that we got to the point where grabbing your genitals and mimicking masturbation is in prime time. The group I was with was completely offended.”

"You have no morals or decency? Same goes for the Grammys every year. It's Sodom and Gomorrah."

“The pornographic depiction of Rihanna and company at the Super Bowl and pornographic devil worship at the Grammys. I don't care what people love, but kids shouldn't be exposed to pornography and as an adult I don't want to see that."

“Very close to pornography. Not only is the star turning, ... These comments could also apply to Sam Smith's Satanic Ritual performance, as well as others at the Grammy Awards show a week ago.

"There is no credible artistic expression associated with the artist fondling Rihanna's genitals and then sniffing her hand during her halftime show at Superbowl 57 ... The lewd act only attracted lewd interest."

"I don't want to see a woman touch herself (more than once) and then lick her fingers. I don't want men (or women) simulating the sexual act (especially pushing a woman). It was disgusting and terrible for families to be exposed without warning .”

"The Super Bowl is for everyone, including kids!!!! She needs to be fined as well as whoever approved this vulgar show!!!!!!"

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"I would like an answer on how your agency will protect my family from seeing such vulgar things on TV again."

"That was disgusting and my 7 year old will never ignore an adult performer repeatedly grabbing his crotch and ass. Shame on the NFL."

"Rihanna continued to imitate acts of coming of age, followed by an exaggerated act of sniffing her fingers. This is inappropriate for a live sports broadcast on national television."

"I think even YOU are aware of the lewdness imposed AGAIN on the families who have relied on you AGAIN to protect us from the prevailing lewdness that inexplicably and NECESSARILY finds its way into the Superbowl halftime show... Enjoy." It's nearly impossible to accidentally make the same "mistake" EVERY year you seem to enjoy it, I just assume the degradation of human dignity you continue to "allow" is premeditated and needs to be dealt with in court. Therefore, on behalf of ALL innocent children and their now humiliated mothers, if not all parents, I will seek a public apology and redress in court and am simply writing to inform you of this intent.”

“Pornography on the most watched family show of the year. Makes Janet Jackson's nipple panties look like a teacher.

“It is neither provocative nor artistic. It's all been done before and leaves no deep message other than the sad humiliation of the people who do it. It is offensive and humiliating for the public to see a strip club dancing.”

"We didn't need to see a pregnant woman repeatedly touching her crotch during the performance."

"Singer Rihanna, who conducted the halftime performance, should never have been allowed to appear on the airwaves of the American people... This is outrageous to thousands of families and children watching the Super Bowl. Above all, it is an affront. to the law of God”.

"The music was lewd, as was the way she and her dancer played each other. Each of them should have gone to the bathroom before the start of the program, instead of waiting.

"Her 'fantasy' featured what appeared to be painted breasts. From all angles, it looked like bare, bare breasts colored red. Yes, this color is not her natural skin tone, but the sexuality of the design cannot be denied. .. I am asking for a full investigation and if both are found guilty they should be fined dollars in addition to the highest fine ever imposed by the FCC.

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“Over the last four years there have been indecent words, gestures and attire (not) paged. Halftime shows take place during prime time. In this year 2023, children were subjected to repeated groin rubbing and subsequent finger-sniffing/licking of the hand that rubbed a pregnant woman's crutch. How do you explain that to the kids?”

"The Super Bowl is an American tradition and is basically more of a family vacation. I shouldn't have to watch someone rub and sniff their vagina on the show. What's next?"


What female sang at the Super Bowl? ›

Madonna's performance was the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show in history, with 114 million viewers – more than the game itself, which had 111.3 million viewers.

What Superbowl did Beyonce do? ›

Just to be inspired, really." Beyoncé previously headlined the 2013 Super Bowl halftime show as a solo act, and broke the internet when she reunited with former Destiny's Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams as special guests onstage.

How much did Madonna get paid for the Super Bowl? ›

How Madonna's Super Bowl Performance Was Worth $91 Million—But She Didn't Get A Dime.

How much did Prince get paid for Super Bowl? ›

2007: Prince, $12 Million (Estimated)

This is often ranked the greatest halftime show of all time.

How many times did Beyoncé do the Super Bowl? ›

This will mark the second time Beyonce has performed during a Super Bowl halftime show. She previously took the stage as the headline act during Super Bowl 47 between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.

What is the most watched Super Bowl halftime show? ›

Rihanna's halftime show averaged 118.7 million viewers, making it the second-most watched in Super Bowl history. Katy Perry's 2015 performance still holds the top mark at 121 million.

Do singers at Super Bowl Halftime get paid? ›

While it may come as a surprise to some, the truth is that Super Bowl halftime show performers don't get paid for their concerts. Instead, the NFL pays for all expenses associated with putting on the halftime show, including travel costs.

How much do the singers get paid for Super Bowl halftime show? ›

NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy told Newsweek that the league doesn't pay halftime performers an "appearance fee, but the artists are indeed paid union scale." But Newsweek reported that under the union agreement that would've been about $1,000 a day for the Jennifer Lopez and Shakira Super Bowl ...

How much do Super Bowl singers get paid? ›

The surprising truth is that halftime performers aren't paid to perform at the Super Bowl. Per league policy, the NFL covers all costs related to the production of the halftime show, but the talent doesn't take home a paycheck (although the NFL foots the bill for their travel expenses).

Do celebrities get paid to do the Super Bowl? ›

"There is not an appearance fee," NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy tells ThePioneerWoman.com. "But the artists are paid union scale." (According to Forbes, union scale is "a fraction of the six- and seven-figure sums" the artists typically earn.)

How much do players get paid for losing Super Bowl? ›

While it doesn't take away the sting of defeat, the $82,000 players on the losing team will earn could make them feel a little better. As with the winners, that's $7,000 more than the Bengals collected a year ago. And next year's total will jump the same amount.

How much is a hot dog at the Super Bowl? ›

Don't forget to leave room in the budget for a beer and a hot dog at the game. According to Cheapism, a hot dog at State Farm Stadium for the 2022 season cost $4.75, with a beer priced at $7.

Who is performing at the Super Bowl halftime show 2023? ›

“We are thrilled to welcome Rihanna to the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show stage,” Seth Dudowsky, NFL Head of Music said in a statement announcing her performance. “Rihanna is a once-in-a-generation artist who has been a cultural force throughout her career.

Who is singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl 2023? ›

Eight-time Grammy winner Chris Stapleton performed the national anthem ahead of the game. The country music singer also has 15-time Country Music Association and 10-time Academy of Country Music awards.

Who was the first female to perform at the Super Bowl? ›

Carol Channing is known as the first celebrity performer at a Super Bowl Halftime Show. Channing, a Broadway star known for her role in Hello, Dolly!, performed in 1970 at Super Bowl IV.

Who was the singer at the Super Bowl? ›

Chris Stapleton performed the national anthem prior to Super Bowl LVII between the Eagles and Chiefs at State Farm Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023.
Past Super Bowl National Anthem Singers.
Super Bowl No.National Anthem Singer
LIV (2020)Demi Lovato
LIII (2019)Gladys Knight
LII (2018)Pink
LI (2017)Luke Bryan
7 more rows
Feb 12, 2023

Do Super Bowl performers get paid? ›

NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy told Newsweek that the league doesn't pay halftime performers an "appearance fee, but the artists are indeed paid union scale." But Newsweek reported that under the union agreement that would've been about $1,000 a day for the Jennifer Lopez and Shakira Super Bowl ...

How much is a Super Bowl ticket 2023? ›

How much did Super Bowl tickets cost in 2023? Depending on the seats available, prices started just below $5,000 and went all the way up to around $36,000 for the most premium seats. Most of the available seats were in the lower range, making the average Super Bowl ticket for 2023 a hefty $8,000.

How much are Super Bowl tickets? ›

How much did Super Bowl tickets cost in 2022? Multiple reports indicate the lowest "on location" price for the 2022 Super Bowl in Inglewood, Calif., started at $5,823. The cheapest Super Bowl tickets from SeatGeek, Vivid Seats, StubHub and the NFL Exchange averaged out to $4,366.

Who will sing Lift Every Voice and Sing at Super Bowl? ›

Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph kicked off Super Bowl 2023 singing the Black national anthem "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

Who sang the best national anthem at Super Bowl? ›

1. Whitney Houston (1991) It is hard to get everyone to agree on one thing, but most people agree this is without question the greatest Super Bowl national anthem performance of all time.

Who is Favoured to win the Super Bowl? ›

The Chiefs are listed at the best odds to win at +650 while the Bills are right behind them +750. Behind the two are the current Super Bowl champ Rams at +1100, with the highest odds out of any team in the NFC.

Who was the first black performer at Super Bowl? ›

On Jan. 31, 1993, pop icon Michael Jackson became the first Black man to perform by himself during the halftime show at a Super Bowl. The performance began with actor James Earl Jones voicing an introduction to Jackson.

Who was in the last 5 Super Bowl halftime shows? ›

Here is the complete list of previous Super Bowl halftime performers and themes:
  • 2023: Rihanna.
  • 2022: Eminem, Dr. ...
  • 2021: The Weeknd.
  • 2020: Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Emme Muniz.
  • 2019: Maroon 5, Travis Scott, Big Boi.
  • 2018: Justin Timberlake, The Tennessee Kids.
  • 2017: Lady Gaga.
Feb 13, 2023

What was the 1st Super Bowl Halftime show? ›

In 1967, the first Super Bowl Halftime show consisted of the Liberty Bell that was performed by the University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band.

Who sang the Black national anthem at the Super Bowl? ›

Sheryl Lee Ralph Makes History With 'Lift Every Voice and Sing' Performance at 2023 Super Bowl. The Abbott Elementary actress is the first Black person to perform the Black national anthem on the field before the Super Bowl.

Have brothers ever played each other in the Super Bowl? ›

She has celebrated her sons' championship wins before: Travis, a tight end, won in the 2019 season and Jason, a center, in the 2017 season. But this Sunday she'll be in a much more precarious position as her sons become the first pair of brothers in N.F.L. history to compete against each other in a Super Bowl.


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