The Rev. Franklin Graham lashed out at the Super Bowl halftime show Sunday night as demeaning to women.
The event featured singers Jennifer Lopez and Shakira wearing revealing costumes and Lopez pole dancing.
“I don’t expect the world to act like the church, but our country has had a sense of moral decency on prime time television in order to protect children,” Graham wrote on his Facebook page. “We see that disappearing before our eyes. It was demonstrated tonight in the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show — with millions of children watching.
“This exhibition was Pepsi showing young girls that sexual exploitation of women is okay. With the exploitation of women on the rise worldwide, instead of lowering the standard, we as a society should be raising it. I’m disappointed in Pepsi and the NFL.”
I don’t expect the world to act like the church, but our country has had a sense of moral decency on prime time…
Not everyone agreed.
“Best Super Bowl half time show ever,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tweeted.
Best Super Bowl half time show ever.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) February 3, 2020
Others also praised the show.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) February 3, 2020
Incredible half time musical show from @jlo and @shakira – both so stunning and so beautifully choreographed and sung! Best halftime show ever Love you girls – you made me smile with pride just for being a woman! Perfection! #SuperBowl #jlo #Shakira
— Olivia Newton-John (@olivianj) February 3, 2020
The political overtones of the show were clear days before the game took place.
“Two Latinas doing this in this country at this time is just very empowering to us,” Lopez said last week, according to CNN.
“It’s very important for us to convey a message of unity and also to show what a relevant force the Latin community is in this country,” Shakira said.
Lopez performed Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” wearing a coat that was a Puerto Rican flag on the inside and an American flag on the outside, while during the show children were in cage-like structures in what appeared to be a jab at the family separation policies along America’s southern border.
But for many, the politics took second place to the supercharged sexuality on display.
I’m no prude, but watching it with my 7yo daughter and 11yo son was really uncomfortable. I mean, a stripper pole, FFS. Families gather to watch the Super Bowl.
— 🌊 Jennifer Messmer 🌊 (@JLMezz) February 3, 2020
— Kevin DeLong (@kevindelong) February 3, 2020
The @SuperBowl halftime show was just a bad strip show. We have had so much positive discussion about not treating women like sexual objects, then they go & do this. You can’t cry that women need to be treated better then support this display of sexual objectifying #SuperbowlLIV
— A-Aron Beard (@AUBeard) February 3, 2020
You call it dancing and entertainment.
I call it what it is: softcore porn
— Kristen Ruby (@sparklingruby) February 3, 2020
It was honestly just gross. I’m not a prude. I’ve directed rap videos for Gucci Mane, Snoop Dogg, Ty Dolla Sign etc. but they basically just had a strip show followed by kids on stage and then focused on Shakira & JLo’s butts in front of kids on stage. #PepsiHalftime #SuperBowl
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) February 3, 2020
Conservative commentator Eric Metaxas said the halftime show was “like something out of Dante’s Inferno. Pray for America.”
Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, Daniel Feinberg offered a different view.
“Presumably there will be some grumpy folks out there complaining about things like the utilization of Spanish and the thrusting of Shakira’s crotch, as well as perhaps a few musical snobs lamenting those bygone years when artists they liked lip-synced at the Super Bowl,” he wrote.
“Get over it. This is not ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ at La Scala. It’s not Aretha Franklin at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church. It’s 10 minutes of entertainment while you’re waiting for your Totino’s pizza rolls to crisp, and this was one of the most lively, smile-inducing pauses in Super Bowl action in many years,” Feinberg said.
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