FCC receives more than 1,000 complaints over J.Lo, Shakira halftime show

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received more than 1,000 complaints from viewers upset by some of the content featured in the Super Bowl halftime show earlier this month that was headlined by singers Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

WFAA, an ABC-affiliated station in Texas, obtained a copy of the trove of 1,312 complaints from the FCC through a Freedom of Information Act request. According to the news service, the complaints span from nearly 50 states, with the most coming from Texas, which reportedly had almost 140.

A number of the complaints criticizing the halftime show took aim, in particular, at the performances put on by Lopez and Shakira.


“Jennifer Lopez‘s performance at the Super Bowl halftime show was extremely explicit and completely unacceptable for a event where families including children are watching,” one viewer from Utah wrote.

“I had to send my children out of the room so that they weren’t exposed to something they should not have seen,” the viewer continued. “She should not be allowed to perform at something like that ever again. Shame on the NFL for allowing that performance to happen. I am not sure how to censure her or those involved in choreographing that performance but it was disgusting.”

“Why is it okay for these entertainers, J-Lo and Shakira to prance around grabbing their genitals on national television? I don't want my kids imitating that behavior. Do you guys really condone this crap?” a person from Arkansas said in their complaint. 

“Please, please, please do something about the inappropriate airing! We had to shield our children's eyes and fast-forward the 2020 Halftime Show from the beginning! Wardrobes alone were indecent,” a Texas viewer wrote. “Dancing was demeaning and and the striptease was stupidly shocking. I enjoyed JLo's music growing up... but feel bad for her now, and will no longer be entertaining she or Shakira's music in our home.”

More than 40 of the complaints described the performances by both stars as “soft porn” and one person from Tennessee said their eyes were “molested” by the performances. Hundreds of viewers seemed to be particularly upset about the amount of “crotch” shown by the singers during the performance.

“Jennifer Lopez showing her crotch and rubbing at it suggestively. Shakira showing her crotch. It would be nice if costumes and dance moves were family appropriate during football games,” a person from Pennsylvania wrote.


“Even my 28 year old son was worried for children who might have been watching. The costumes, the pole dancing, the constant crotch grabbing were not appropriate for a family oriented event,” a Tennessean said.

“My family was very excited to watch the Super Bowl tonight. However, I was not prepared to explain to my 11 yo daughter why Jennifer Lopez was dressed so scantily or why she kept grabbing her crotch,” another viewer from Washington wrote. “My daughter was asking if she was feeling sick from having so much skin showing.”

The FCC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The federal agency has received complaints about the Super Bowl halftime show in previous years, including most notably in 2004 when a brief view of singer Janet Jackson's partially exposed breast during the show sparked backlash and a $550,000 FCC-imposed fine on CBS for violating federal law against broadcasting "indecent content" on public airwaves. A federal appeals court later threw out the fine.

The regulatory agency said at the time that it received more than 200,000 complaints following the "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl 38 halftime show.

According to The Associated Press, more than 104 million viewers tuned into the Super Bowl 54 halftime show earlier this month.

The show, which marked the first time in history that two Latinas headlined the event, drew praise from many on social media but also sparked criticism from others.

The performance by Lopez and Shakira included multiple cultural references that many perceived to be political statements about immigration.