I have been a consummate football fan since my days as a student at USC, and I typically experience a kind of "withdrawal" each year during the off season. I get most excited about college football but have also followed the pros for years. However, my enthusiasm for the National Football League turned sour last month. That is an understatement. I am thoroughly disgusted with the NFL since its recent Super Bowl telecast. The game itself was a thriller and one of the best Super Bowl events in my memory. However, it featured a halftime presentation that amounted to a choreographed assault on decency and morality that was embarrassingly graphic. If you and your family didn't watch the halftime performance this year, you are fortunate.
On February 2, families across the country were exposed to a display of near nudity and highly sexualized dancing during the halftime show, sponsored by Pepsi. Based on the reaction we have received, it must have offended the sensibilities of countless viewers who cringed at what their children were watching. You can be sure millions saw what was served up. It is estimated that 100 million people saw that Sunday night show, and of course there were innumerable kids viewing with them. We posted the following reaction on Facebook and other social media a few days later.
On Sunday, Fox Sports and the NFL offered up a sexual smorgasbord in its halftime show. It featured a stripper's pole, sex simulation, crotch shots, and a celebration of a hypersexualized and pagan culture. Fox also carried a commercial accepted for airing by the NFL which featured two drag queens who looked like prostitutes. Producers owe an apology to the American people for invading their homes with what amounted to dark images and soft-core porn. It was raw hedonism!
Parents, were you comfortable allowing your innocent children to be swept into this cesspool? How many of you sat passively as they took it all in? Depending on their ages, showing that production to them could almost be considered child abuse. How many moms and dads knew they should have turned off their televisions or computers when they saw women being dishonored and objectified?
I understand that the championship game was exciting to experience. But we should be able to watch the biggest sporting event of the year without suddenly having our living rooms invaded by offensive content. We should not have had to choose between missing a portion of the game or watching soft-core porn. We hear that the NFL intends to expand its male-dominated audience by featuring more women performers. What will future performers be wearing…or not wearing?
Pepsi, we will not forget that you sponsored such provocative programming in 2020.
Actually, the NFL has been moving toward more sexual exploitation in its performances for years. I wonder if anyone remembers Michael Jackson dancing during the 1993 Super Bowl halftime show during which he grabbed his crotch. That was the first evidence I saw of it. Then most of you will remember the so called "wardrobe malfunction" when Justin Timberlake "accidentally" exposed Janet Jackson's breast. Who among us believes that obscene act was an accident? MTV was permanently banned from working on future NFL halftime shows over that one. How far we have come since then! Year after year, Super Bowl performances have become progressively more lewd and provocative.
Some of my readers might question my referring to this year's halftime show as soft porn. If so, consider how pornographers and consumers of pornography responded to it. Kylee Zempel wrote about Pornhub in The Federalist1:
Pornhub searches [on the Internet] for Shakira and Jennifer Lopez skyrocketed [during the show], increasing by 1,401 percent and 381 percent, respectively. According to Pornhub Insights, the per-minute data also shows us that as soon as the halftime began, a large number of people immediate[ly] headed to Pornhub before returning to the show. Then just before the beginning of the third quarter, we [saw] more people return to Pornhub for a quick break. "Super Bowl" and "Superbowl" searches shot up 5,000 percent on game day, with huge spikes in searches for cheerleader-related content.
Do you understand what is being reported here? Enormous numbers of viewers were enticed during and after the halftime show to access pornography. Obviously, what the NFL put before millions of people was filth. How many of the viewers were teenagers?
Well, forgive me for having to be so graphic in my letter this month. There was no other way to explain what took place on Super Bowl Sunday. If you feel the way I do about this outrageous performance, you might want to let your irritation be known. Contact information for the NFL, Pepsi, and the producers' names and addresses are listed below.
Perhaps we are fighting a losing battle while trying to protect our homes and families from obscenity. Maybe America will choose to follow in the steps of other countries that have become morally corrupt. In some ways, we have already crossed that Rubicon. Nevertheless, I think those who are trying to live moral lives and defend our children should let their voices be heard.
Thanks for allowing me to share my convictions with you today. I draw comfort from knowing that you are there.
Your friend in Christ,
Addresses and phone numbers for the NFL, the producers of the halftime show, and Pepsi:
National Football League
345 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10154
Ricky Kirshner – Executive Producer of Super Bowl 2020 Halftime Show
Hamish Hamilton – Director of Super Bowl 2020 Halftime Show
10950 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232
700 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577
Producer and Strategic Entertainment Advisor of Super Bowl 2020 Halftime Show
1411 Broadway, New York, NY 10018
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