FCC receives more than 100 complaints about Rihanna’s Super Bowl performance, calling it rude, obscene

According to the complaints list released on the FCC website, a small portion of Super Bowl viewers — 113.1 million on average, but 118.7 million for halftime — compared Rihanna's performance to pornography.

Rihanna’s Super Bowl LVII halftime performance attracted more than 100 complaints to the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC, which oversees interstate and international communications via cable, radio, television, satellite and wire, received 103 formal complaints regarding the NFL championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. Most were related to Rihanna’s performance, according to The Los Angeles Times.

“The performance was very over sexualized,” a viewer from Lone Tree, Colorodo, wrote, The Times reported, “and there were many instances where Rihanna had her background dancers doing very explicit dances.”

Rihanna performs on an elevated stage during the Apple Music Super Bowl LVII halftime show at State Farm Stadium on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona. Dozens of viewers wrote to the FCC to complain about the show. (Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Rihanna — born Robyn Rihanna Fenty — sang a medley of her hits during the highly anticipated performance, including “Only Girl (In The World,” “B— Better Have My Money,” “We Found Love,” “Where Have You Been” and “Work.” 

Four of the numbers performed “were about sex,” the Lone Tree complainant added, according to The Times. “This is supposed to be a family friendly show but we look at this and wish we were given a heads up for explicit content prior so we could get our child out of the room.”

While she did not dance much — a decision many people attributed to her expecting her second child with boyfriend A$AP Rocky — complainants compared her “rude” and “obscene” white-clad background dancers to sperm, clouds and pillows.

According to the complaints list released on the FCC website, a small portion of the football game’s viewers — 113.1 million on average but 118.7 million for halftime — compared Rihanna’s performance to pornography and lamented the erosion of decency.

“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,” a viewer from Antioch, California, asserted, The Times reported. “Where has decency gone? How about respect for others and self?”

Still, the 103 complaints appear insignificant compared to the complaints the FCC received in 2004 following the “wardrobe malfunction” involving Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson, which about 90 million viewers saw during their halftime show. 

CBS received 540,000 complaints in response to the event and was fined. In 2012, after spending millions of dollars in legal costs, the network won its battle with the FCC when the Supreme Court declined to hear the commission’s request to reinstate a $550,000 indecency fine.

Rihanna’s Super Bowl performance was her first since the release of “Anti,” her eighth studio album, in 2016. The soon-to-be mother of two will return to the stage and national television on March 12.

The global pop sensation and beauty mogul will take to the 95th Academy Awards stage to perform “Lift Me Up,” the Oscar-nominated song from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

Regarding the Super Bowl, a Janesville, California, viewer vowed to the FCC to not tune in the following year if “this is how you are going to disrespect our nation,” contending that it was all too inappropriate for a family sporting event.

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