Super Bowl halftime show draws 33 FCC complaints — compared to 1,300 in 2020

·2 min read


The Super Bowl halftime performance from Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and other hip-hop stars wasn't "Xxplosive" when it came to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) complaints - eliciting fewer than three dozen grievances from among the millions of viewers.

The rappers took to the stage at California's SoFi Stadium last month alongside Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent for the halftime show as the Cincinnati Bengals battled it out against the Los Angeles Rams. Eminem made headlines when he kneeled during the show in an apparent nod to the silent protest first started by Colin Kaepernick in 2016.

The halftime show garnered just 33 complaints to the FCC, according to documents obtained by The Hill as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.

A handful of viewers voiced discontent with the attire worn by backup dancers, with one writing, "So if 2020 wasn't bad enough now we get to see a bunch of half naked women sexually twerking."

One of the big game's critics bashed the "scantily clad female dancers who belong in a strip club not on national TV."

"This is terrible entertainment for children," another one of the complaints, all which have nearly all identifying information redacted, lamented.

"Sexual content of grown hip hop and rap [singers] grabbing their groin and genitals. So offensive to children, the elderly and families," a Colorado Super Bowl LVI watcher wrote.

Some complaints were dictated via phone by viewers and inputted to the FCC's database.

"Consumer claims the Super Bowl halftime show was disgusting. He believes them grabbing and touching their breasts was offensive," one complaint read.

"Consumer did not appreciate that," it continued.

The number of complaints pales in comparison to past explosive Super Bowl halftime shows. In 2020, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's co-headlining medley prompted a staggering 1,300 complaints to the FCC. A year earlier, Maroon 5's performance at the NFL championship game drew about 50 complaints.

But some of the viewers who objected to Dr. Dre's extravaganza made mention of the most high-profile and controversial halftime production of all: Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake's 2004 performance.

More than 540,000 complaints poured into the FCC when Jackson suffered an infamous "wardrobe malfunction" and her breast was exposed, leading to a $550,000 fine for CBS and MTV, which was eventually dismissed.

One Super Bowl LVI viewer who called 50 Cent's appearance "trash" that included "slutty looking women dancing near stripper poles" defended Jackson in their note to the FCC.

"Janet Jackson performance was 1,000 times better and 100 percent not her fault," the Chicago viewer said. "Glad Justin Timberlake wasn't invited to the Super Bowl to this year's show."

Bob Cusack contributed.